Cabinet formation in trouble over refugees

The formation of the most likely new cabinet – a combination of the Christian Democrats, PvdA (Labour) and Socialists – has run into trouble before the parties have even started talking to each other, the papers agree this morning.

The conflict stems from the narrow vote in parliament last week in favour of granting an amnesty to a group of some 12,000 long-term refugees. The outgoing cabinet is opposed to a so-called general pardon and has refused to implement it, leading to a political stalemate.
This weekend prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende said he had been irritated by the vote and he was less keen on working towards a left-leaning coalition. Parties involved in forming a coalition should trust each other, he said.
The left of centre parties have threatened to stage a vote of no confidence in immigration minister Rita Verdonk if the cabinet does not immediately stop deportations.
Police in Tilburg said this weekend they would not cooperate with any more deportations pending a political solution.

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