Holland's Political Mess

Could the fall of the Dutch government on Oct. 16 lead to a delay in European Union enlargement? Sources in the Hague doubt a caretaker government would try to veto expansion plans, but they don't rule anything out. Jousting over expansion helped bring Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's government down. But the main problem was infighting in the List Pim Fortuyn party, whose leader, the anti-immigration maverick Pim Fortuyn, was assassinated before the May 15 election. Fortuyn's followers proved to be impossible coalition partners. New elections are expected in mid-December and are likely to favor Balkenende's Christian Democrats and the pro-business Liberals, the third party in the outgoing coalition.

Edited by Rose Brady

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