Ex-Rabobank boss Herman Wijffels has been named as the man who will take charge of the second phase of forming a coalition government which will start in January.
Although Wijffels is a prominent Christian Democrat, he is acceptable to the two other potential coalition partners, Labour (PvdA) and the orthodox ChristenUnie (CU). These three parties (good for 80 of the 150 seats in parliament) agreed to go ahead with coalition negotiations following a five hour meeting yesterday.
Wijffels (64), whose past credits include chairing the government’s influential Socio-Economic Council (SER), is currently an executive with the World Bank in Washington.
According to today’s Financieele Dagblad, he had no hesitation in saying yes to the job of informateur and is expected to return to the Netherlands on Wednesday.
Wijjfels is not expecting the formation of a new cabinet to take months. ‘Fortunately, I understand that the three parties are in a hurry,’ he told the paper. According to the FD the queen is expected to formally appoint Wijjfels tomorrow.
The appointment of Wijjfels means that the work of Rein Jan Hoektra, who has presided over coalition talks since the November elections, is now completed.
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