Gloating EU JUBILANT at Geert Wilders loss as France & Germany try to stop Le Pen support

Thursday, March 16, 2017
By Paul Martin

MARINE Le Pen’s rival has congratulated Mark Rutte’s election victory over nationalist Geert Wilders in the Dutch election, as world leaders welcome the result.

By KATIE MANSFIELD
Express.co.uk
Thu, Mar 16, 2017

French, German and EU leaders welcomed Mr Rutte’s victory signalling the election is a blow to populism and the rise of Marine Le Pen.

Centrist Emmanuel Macron, tipped by most polls to end up in a second-round runoff against Front National’s Marine Le Pen in the upcoming French presidential election, said the Dutch election was a warning to the right.

Mr Macron said: “The Netherlands is showing us a breakthrough for the extreme right is not a foregone conclusion and that progressives are gaining momentum.”

Outgoing French president Francois Hollande congratulated Mr Rutte on his victory in an election watched closely by Europe ahead of France’s presidential ballot.

Mr Hollande said: “The President warmly congratulates Mark Rutte for his clear victory against extremism.”

France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault tweeted: “Congratulations to the Dutch for stemming the rise of the far-right.”

Dutch centre-right Mr Rutte scored a victory over Geert Wilders despite losing a number of seats, offering relief to other governments across Europe facing a wave of nationalism.

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