All eyes on The Hague, it’s make or break for the PVV alliance

Thursday is make or break for the minority government’s alliance with the anti-Islam PVV, as talks on finding spending cuts of at least €9bn are due to resume at 10.00.

The talks were halted early on Wednesday and the state information service issued a statement saying they had reached ‘a difficult phase’.
The two coalition parties – the VVD and CDA – and alliance partner PVV are trying to put together a package of savings to reduce the budget deficit to below 3%, in line with eurozone rules.
However, according to Dutch media reports, PVV leader Geert Wilders wants to pull out of the negotiations because he is not prepared to agree to far-reaching economic reforms. In addition, some sources say Wilders has demanded a referendum on the euro.
Nos television says the cabinet will fall unless Wilders agrees to cuts and reforms designed to generate between €12bn and €16bn in savings. The negotiators have not yet started looking at the small print, the broadcaster says.
The Telegraaf says Wilders has to choose between his party and the national interest. Before the talks started on March 5, Wilders said they only had a 50:50 chance of success. He started out by calling for €4bn to be cut from the development aid budget.
Opposition parties say if the coalition alliance breaks up, there must be new elections.

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