World News

Top Merkel aide welcomes 'terrific' Dutch result

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the VVD party greets supporters after voting in the general election in The Hague, Netherlands, March 15, 2017. REUTERS/Michael Kooren

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The head of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office congratulated the Netherlands on a “terrific” election result after exit polls gave Prime Minister Mark Rutte a commanding lead over anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders.

“Netherlands oh Netherlands you are a champion,” Peter Altmaier, head of the German chancellery, tweeted in Dutch. “Congratulations on this terrific result.”

Germany also faces parliamentary elections in September, in which the anti-immigration, eurosceptic Alternative for Germany party, allied with Wilders, is hoping to enter the Berlin federal parliament for the first time.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Catherine Evans