Home » Netherlands may reverse motorway speed limit cut which ‘barely reduces emissions’

Netherlands may reverse motorway speed limit cut which ‘barely reduces emissions’

Mr Wilders, dubbed the “Dutch Trump”  has called for the Netherlands to leave the Paris climate agreement, and the other parties are also keen to roll back the measure.

Mark Rutte, who is still caretaker prime minister, said it was a “rotten measure” as he imposed the new limit for years ago at the behest of the courts. The cut put the Netherlands alongside Cyprus with the lowest motorway limits in the EU.

The Dutch nitrogen crisis halted new construction projects in the midst of a housing crisis. It led Mr Rutte to propose compulsory farm buyouts to reduce nitrogen emissions.

That precipitated a string of tractor protests that inspired similar populist uprisings against EU green rules across Europe.

In March 2023, the BBB, a Dutch farmer’s party, won a shock landslide victory in regional elections which had become a referendum on Mr Rutte, the leader of the conservative VVD.

The government fell soon afterwards in a row over migration policy and Mr Rutte, the longest serving Prime MInister in Dutch history, announced he would not run again.

A knife-edge election

In the run-up to November’s general election, the BBB lost ground to a new “radical centrist” party led by Pieter Omtzigt, a campaigning centre-Right MP.

In a knife-edge election, Mr Wilders, the leader of the hard-Right Freedom Party, won a shock victory.

Dilan Yesilgoz, Mr Rutte’s successor as VVD leader and his hardline former justice minister, had led the polls with a campaign in which she vowed to crack down on migration and limit family reunification for asylum seekers, before losing ground to Mr Wilders.

The VVD came a narrow third behind an alliance of Left-wing and Green parties led by Frans Timmermans, the former commissioner in charge of climate change, which is not part of talks to form the Right-wing coalition.

Political reporter Leendert Beekman told Dutch radio that the timing of the leak was suspicious, so soon after Mr Wilders had quit one round of talks on migration in frustration.

“It seems like a distraction from what really matters: asylum and migration,” he said.