Christian Democrat leader Jan Peter Balkenende and his Socialist Party counterpart Jan Marijnissen must show genuine political will to take part in a left-leaning cabinet, Labour leader Wouter Bos said today, following disappointing talks between the CDA and SP yesterday.
Both leaders emerged from their meeting in pessimistic mood. The CDA, said Marijnissen, ‘had difficulty in making concessions’. And the Telegraaf this morning quoted CDA insiders saying a CDA/PvdA/SP coalition is now regarded as the least attractive option.
Policy on the division of wealth, healthcare and international affairs were the biggest problem areas. ‘We know that there are policy differences,’ said Bos, urging his potential coalition partners to take a leap forward. ‘What we are talking about now is the will of the people.’ The CDA, PvdA and SP are the three biggest parties in parliament.
Meanwhile, MPs have agreed to debate plans to stop deporting long-term asylum seekers next Tuesday. They rejected a call for an emergency debate this afternoon by Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration PVV party and the Liberals (VVD). Immigration minister Rita Verdonk (VVD) has ordered a temporary halt in the deportation of long-term asylum seekers pending the second debate and this has infuriated right-wing MPs.
Last week, MPs voted by a majority of one to bring in an amnesty for some 12,000 refugees who have lived in the country since 2001.
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