Union protest at delay rescue package

Around 1,800 trade union members gathered outside the parliament building in The Hague on Friday to protest at the cabinet’s delay in coming up with a package of measures to tackle the country’s economic crisis.

Along with opposition parties, the FNV union federation is furious that the coalition parties are still divided on what steps to take after a week of talks.
‘The cabinet is fighting and discussing while action is needed,’ one FNV leader is reported to have told demonstrators.
Social affairs minister Piet Hein Donner was on his way to address the union demonstrators on Friday afternoon. ‘They have come here so I think they have the right to hear what I have to say,’ he is quoted as saying by ANP news service.
Meanwhile FNV chairwoman Agnes Jongerius (photo) has called for a meeting with the cabinet and employers on Tuesday to discuss a joint solution for the crisis facing the country, reports ANP on Friday. She says the cabinet has still not reacted adequately to the federation’s recent investment proposals.
Opposition angry
Opposition parties too are angry with the cabinet. Femke Halsema leader of GroenLinks said the coalition parties are wasting too much time on political in-fighting, reports ANP. She has called on the prime minister to explain the delay at Tuesday’s parliamentary question time.
The right-wing VVD party warned that the longer the talks take, the bigger the damage to the country. And the leader of the Socialist Party, Agnes Kant, is quoted by ANP as saying that the cabinet talks resemble a soap opera.
Donner said on Friday he could not say when the cabinet will be able to reach agreement on a rescue package.
See too: Cabinet suspends talks on crisis package and Unions agree to lower wage demands

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