Budget talks enter sixth week, no end in sight

Austerity talks between the minority coalition and anti-immigration PVV entered their sixth week on Tuesday, and it is still unclear how much longer they will continue, Nos television says.

In total, negotiators from the three parties have met for 91.5 hours of talks on making savings and finding new money. They need to find upwards of €9bn to reduce the budget deficit below the eurozone limit of 3%, but many commentators say €15bn will be needed.
The talks almost collapsed at one point when it emerged PVV leader Geert Wilders had difficulty agreeing to economic reforms. The next day, the state information service RVD said there was ‘enough perspective’ to continue.
The PVV has a formal alliance with the cabinet, made up of the VVD Liberals and Christian Democrats. The talks are taking place at prime minister Mark Rutte’s official Catshuis residence.

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