Coalition divided over aid cash

The Dutch right-left coalition is divided over how to spend €750m of the country’s aid budget allocated to strengthen economies, the Volkskrant and Telegraaf report on Friday.

Aid minister Lilianne Ploumen wants to focus on helping small and medium-sized firms in developing countries while economic affairs minister Henk Kamp says the cash should boost Dutch companies suffering in the crisis, the papers say.

There is a difference of political principles, sources told the Volkskrant. Ploumen is from the Labour party, Kamp from the VVD.

Cuts

Ploumen had been due to announce her plans, which also involve cutting €1bn from the aid budget, to the press after the weekly cabinet meeting but the presentation was cancelled following the intervention of prime minister Mark Rutte, the papers say.

Ploumen told the Telegraaf: ‘There is broad support and enthusiasm for my proposals within the cabinet. A number of colleagues have additional points and asked for more examples… we are laying the boundaries for the future and a week here or there does not matter.’

Kamp told Radio 1 on Friday morning: ‘It is a good proposal but we need to exchange views again in a couple of places.’


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