March 15, 2017 / 9:10 PM / 8 months ago

Top Merkel aide welcomes 'terrific' Dutch result

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.

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

“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

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