‘Cat and mouse game over government finances is dangerous’

The ‘cat and mouse game’ being played out between the ruling alliance of VVD, CDA and PVV is ‘very dangerous’ because of its likely impact on the financial markets, Alexander Pechtold, leader of the Liberal democrats D66, said on Thursday.

Pechtold was speaking after the three parties agreed to get back round the negotiating table after announcing the talks were at a ‘difficult stage’ on Wednesday.
Yesterday’s events show prime minister Mark Rutte is suffering from a ‘chronic lack of leadership’ , Pechtold said. The set pieces in the garden of his residence where the talks are taking place, and the text messages about the talks being at a difficult stage were all part of playing to the gallery, the D66 leader said.
In addition, Pechtold said he was worried about what PVV leader Geert Wilders will want in return for his agreement to return to the talks. According to Dutch media coverage, the PVV leader is not in favour of reforming redundancy law and increasing healthcare fees – which are thought to be central to the negotiations.
Labour’s new leader Diederick Samsom said the coalition alliance is ‘busy working on measures which will damage the Netherlands’. ‘They will be responsible,’ Samsom said.
Jolande Sap, leader of the left-wing greens Groenlinks said she had little faith in the talks. ‘Yesterday they were in a difficult phase, now they see perspective’, she pointed out. ‘Everything depends on one man – Geert Wilders – and whether he sees perspective or not.’
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