Recession-busting talks ‘difficult’

‘Too little progress’ was made during Monday’s meeting of ministers and coalition party leaders to draw up a package of measures to tackle the economic crisis, sources told the Telegraaf.

‘There are a lot of big hurdles still to clear,’ another source told the paper.
A spokesman for prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende said that the atmosphere had been positive and the talks constructive. Discussions will continue at the prime minister’s official residence on Tuesday.
According to the Telegraaf, the three coalition parties are more or less agreed that the total package of measures to kick-start the economy will cost some €5bn.
But there are still deep divisions about how these measures are to be paid for. The Christian Democrats want cuts in government spending to be made immediately but Labour and the ChristenUnie want to postpone these for the time being.
The cabinet originally promised to present the rescue package on Friday. No new deadline has been set.
Yesterday employers leaders called on ministers to delay value-added tax payments, saying this would ease the pressure on business by up to €4bn in the short-term.

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