PM is afraid of voters, says Zalm

Liberal (VVD) stalwart and Finance Minister, Gerrit Zalm, said in an interview with the Volkskrant today that Jan Peter Balkenende was a ‘frightened’ prime minister.

Just one week before the general election, he was ‘avoiding difficult but necessary measures because he was afraid of the voter’. Zalm said: ‘Balkenende no longer shows any leadership. We have a frightened prime minister.’
Meanwhile, Balkenende used a speech today to distance himself from the Liberal and Labour parties – both potential partners in a new cabinet. The CDA was more social than the Liberals and more solid than Labour, the prime minister said.
Unlike the VVD, the CDA did not want to cut unemployment benefit or development aid. And the Labour party was not solid enough because it would not contribute towards paying for the greying population, he explained.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s Interview NSS opinion poll for television show, Nova, put the Socialist Party on 28 seats – only four seats behind Labour (PvdA). In the 2003 general election, the SP had nine seats and Labour 42. The Christian Democrats are still far in the lead.

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