Dutch PM's popularity high but eroding as election looms
FILE - In this file photo dated Saturday, July 18, 2020, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte arrives for an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys, file)THE HAGUE – After more than a decade in power and a year spent battling the virus, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's popularity — boosted by his handling of the pandemic — remains high two weeks before a general election. But amid a tough COVID-19 lockdown, that support is showing signs of eroding as the Dutch grow weary of pandemic restrictions. “The popularity of Mark Rutte ... got a big boost last year due to the COVID-19 crisis,” Van der Meer said. That would make him the longest-serving Dutch prime minister, overtaking the 12-year tenure of Ruud Lubbers.