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The Dutch nationalist Wilders is looking forward to victory in the European elections

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<p class=The Dutch start voting for the European Parliament

Dutch nationalist Geert Wilders appears today poised for further electoral gains as the Netherlands marks the start of the European Parliament elections held in the 27 EU member states which will last a total of four days.

A poll, published on the eve of the vote, shows Wilders' anti-immigrant Freedom Party (PVV) neck and neck for first place with the Labour/Green Left combination, with both parties predicted to win 8 seats.

This would mean a huge gain for Wilders, who had failed to secure a seat in the previous European elections in 2019. Labor and the Green Left had won 6 and 3 seats respectively four years ago. The two left-wing parties are running a joint ballot this year, but will have separate groups in parliament.

Wilders is benefiting from a wave of support in the Netherlands, where his promises to crack down on immigration and limit asylum have already paid dividends. gains for him in the parliamentary elections last year in November.

After months of tense talks, the 60-year-old politician last month secured an agreement with three other conservative parties to form a right-wing government, which is expected to be sworn in by the end of the month.

The coalition said that will take a tough stance on Brussels, seeking exemptions to EU rules on asylum and the environment and a significant reduction in the Dutch contribution to the EU budget.

Wilders has said for years that the Netherlands strong> should leave the union, but changed his tune after the election and abandoned his goal of holding a referendum on the country's EU membership.

Instead, he said his party has now aims to limit EU powers through parliament, joining a potential coalition with the parties of Italian and French far-right leaders Giorgia Meloni and Marine Le Pen.

A sixth poll will be made public when it expires the vote in the Netherlands today at 9 p.m. (22:00 Greek time). The results will be announced when the polls have closed in all member states, at midnight on Sunday, Greek time.

Source: 24h.com.cy

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