Optimism over Dutch centre-left government

The popularity of the new centre-left government (Christian Democrats, Labour and ChristianUnie) has risen massively according to a TNS NIPO poll. Two-thirds of the population are now optimistic about the three-party combination compared to just 4% three weeks before the November 22 general election.

As the dust settles on yesterday’s coalition agreement, there was still confusion about the future of Schiphol airport. Most papers said that the airport’s long-awaited privatisation had been cancelled and the airport authority itself expressed ‘regret that a long standing wish will not be fulfilled’.
But today’s Financieele Dagblad claimed there is still a chance for partial privatisation. According to the paper, the coalition agreement states that Amsterdam city council, which has vetoed the plan up to now, must reach a deal on how Schiphol can attract outside capital by January 1, 2008.
This could include the sale of a minority stake directly to a third party, Christian Democrat MP Maarten Haverkamp told the FD. Privatisation had ‘certainly not been ruled out yet’, he added.
There is also confusion about a proposed ban on wearing a burqa in public. The coalition accord simply states that a ban on facial coverings ‘could be’ introduced out of public safety considerations.

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