No deals have been made with the Christian fundamentalist party SGP, prime minister and right-wing liberal VVD party leader Mark Rutte said on Tuesday during the weekly parliamentary question time.
He was responding to calls by left-wing liberal D66 party leader Alexander Pechtold to come clean on whether the VVD had made any deals in return for SGP support in the senate, or upper house, where the government does not have a majority.
Rutte had appeared to say there was a deal when he attended Saturday’s gathering of the SGP youth wing and reportedly remarked on the party’s trustworthiness. ‘A deal is a deal,’ was his comment.
Pechtold pointed out during question time that a number of traditionally liberal measures had not been taken by the cabinet. For instance, the cabinet allows civil servants to refuse to marry homosexuals and a move to make the euthanasia law more flexible is not supported by the VVD, he said.
‘There is no question of a deal,’ Rutte replied. He pointed out the cabinet has made it easier for sex-change people to have personal documents altered, that lesbian parents are recognised and that homosexuals may give blood.
He accused Pechtold of ‘common party politics’ for using euthanasia as a subject. The VVD has always been for euthanasia but laws on this subject are always taken through parliamentary debate, he said.
Rutte did reportedly admit last year that the VVD voted against liberalising Sunday shopping rules out of deference to the SGP.
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