Verdonk deal ‘a victory for parliament’

The left-wing parties who forced a political crisis with a motion of censure against hardline immigration minister Rita Verdonk have generally reacted positively to the cabinet’s compromise, announced just after midnight. Parliament will debate the deal with prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende later this morning.

In the Volkskrant, Labour (PvdA) leader Wouter Bos called the decision ‘a victory for parliament’. GreenLeft’s Femke Halsema said it was good news that an end had come to Verdonk’s hard line approach on asylum seekers. However, the compromise reached was ‘completely crazy’, she said.
Socialist leader Jan Marijnissen told the paper that the cabinet has made a ‘substantial’ move to meet the wishes of parliament, but he too called the compromise a ‘curious solution’.
Under the compromise announced by Christian Democrat prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende, there will be no more deportations of asylum seekers who have been in the country for over five years and have children, until a new government has been formed.
Despite widespread expectation that Verdonk would resign, the minister and the rest of the Liberal (VVD) cabinet will remain in office but Verdonk will no longer be responsible for asylum policy.

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