Klaver’s optimism may be justified: It took him only a few months to quadruple the votes of his party, and his message stands on a clear platform. That platform is at once unapologetically leftist—it includes higher taxes on the rich and abolishing CEO bonuses—but also uncompromisingly future-oriented, with more European integration, environment-friendly policies, and “empathy” for immigrants. “That’s a problem for social democrats. Most of the time they choose to go back,” he told The Guardian about the UK’s Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, calling Corbyn’s program “back to the future.”

“That is the big difference between us,” he went on. ”We have a very modern programme and it is all doable. It is very ambitious, but we can manage it.” It’s not yet known whether the Greens will get a place in Rutte’s coalition, but their electoral success is something that Europe’s struggling left might just be able to build upon.

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