Friday, October 7, 2016 - 12:10
“Stubborn optimism” behind Dutch PM Rutte’s re-election campaign
"Stubborn optimism" is Prime Minister Mark Rutte's tactic for reelection. In a surprise move he released a personal plan for the future, in addition to the VVD's campaign program for the elections coming up in March, RTL Nieuws reports. The Prime Minister's personal plan, printed in AD on Friday, is bursting with optimism.He is "very proud" of the Netherlands' recovery from the financial crisis. "Our economy is growing again, almost the fastest in Europe." He is also proud of how the Netherlands got the influx of asylum seekers under control and how the crime rate is declining. "There is less violence on the streets and there are fewer burglaries." Innovation is the name of the game, according to the VVD Prime Minister. We must "make room for experimentation with techniques of the future", he wrote. "Not with home- garden- and kitchen-tinkering, a bit of a hobby, but contribute with serious innovations to a new, different way of producing", Rutte said. He added that innovation must come from businesses. "The government can't do that." Rutte mentions concerns in the Netherlands surrounding pensions, healthcare, asylum seekers and the threat of terrorism. According to him, these issues need to be worked on more to provide "certainty". The Prime Minster wants to be there for people with "legitimate concerns", but he also admonishes the "screamers on the sidelines" that ruin it for the rest. According to Rutte, the Netherlands has to defend "our values and culture". "We have to dare to say what we stand for to break the social tensions of the moment", he said. He believes it is "all or nothing" when it comes to Dutch freedoms. "Do you not want to participate? Then it is time for you to find a place elsewhere." He concludes that the Netherlands has everything needed to stay a great country - "pride, stubbornness and self-confidence"