Romanian Foreign Minister Claims Dutch Govt 'Held Captive' by Far-Right Party
The Dutch government is "held captive" by a far-right party with anti-European attitudes, according to Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi.
Commenting Monday on Dutch opposition to Romania and Bulgaria's accession to Europe's visa-free Schengen zone, he stressed that "France and Germany have become more flexible, they have proposed us a two-step entry scenario".
The two countries, however, have "failed to convince the Dutch government which is in a certain way held captive by the anti-European and anti-immigration political agenda of an extremist party," Baconschi added, as cited by Romanian news agency Mediafax.
The Dutch center-right government, which vowed last week to block Romania and Bulgaria's bids to join the Schengen zone, rules with the backing of Geert Wilders' far-right Freedom Party (PVV).
According to diplomatic sources close to the matter, the two countries, which firmly opposed the the two countries' Schengen accession in spring, advising them to step up the fight against corruption, "left the door open for compromise", which was suggested by the Polish EU presidency.
Poland came up with a two-step solution that would see air and sea borders open by the end of October.
A decision on giving the two countries dates on the land borders, "which are more controversial," would only be taken "in the next year," the source said.
The Dutch government, however, remained adamant that it would "not even approve the partial entry."
Several days ahead of Thursday's meeting of foreign ministers of EU member states on the issue, where all decisions are taken by a unanimous vote, Baconschi expressed hopes that the Netherlands' blockage would be surmounted.
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