Dutch coalition talks: Schippers calls a pause for self-reflection

Edith Schippers talks to reporters on Friday. Photo Phil Nijhuis via HH

Coalition negotiator Edith Schippers said on Friday she would resume her efforts to put together a new Dutch government on Monday and urged all parties to think carefully about how they would like to proceed.

Schippers told reporters in The Hague on Friday morning that she had met all the party leaders for new talks but that none of the suggestions for a new coalition could count on sufficient support, but said it was too early to speak of a deadlock.

‘This is why I have introduced a period of reflection, so that parties can meet internally to discuss their position and make changes to that position,’ she said. ‘Then on Monday we can continue with the exploratory talks.’




Talks on forming a new Dutch coalition government appeared to have reached a deadlock on Thursday evening after both D66 and the Socialists refused to budge on possible partners.

The D66 Liberal democrats, considered so far a key part of the coalition alongside the right-wing VVD and the Christian Democrats, say there is no point in involving the ChristenUnie as a potential fourth partner. The Socialists have also refused to work with the VVD.

PVV

Meanwhile, PVV leader Geert Wilders has attacked VVD leader Mark Rutte for ‘going which ever way the wind blows’ and being willing to join forces with the SP.

In an interview to be published in Saturday’s Telegraaf, Wilders says the PVV is the only party which will support the VVD’s wish for a tough policy on immigration. All the main parties ruled out forming a coalition with the anti-Islam party before the March 15 election after Wilders refused to withdraw anti-Moroccan comments.

Two VVD ministers told broadcaster NOS on Friday that the ‘period of reflection’ did not mean that the VVD would now agree to work with the PVV. ‘It is completely clear to me that the VVD will not join up with the PVV,’ defence minister Jeanine Hennis said.

The PVV emerged as the second party in the March 15 general election, winning 20 seats, compared with 19 for the CDA and D66 and 33 for the VVD.