The new cabinet – What the papers say

The new coalition of right-wing VVD and Labour party (PvdA) outlined its strategy on Monday. The Dutch papers give the plans a mixed reaction.

The Telegraaf thinks the brunt of the cut backs announces in the new government accord will be borne by the higher income groups while the lower income groups will benefit. Unfair, the paper writes.
According to the paper this is the result of the formation give-and-take: the VVD can carry on cutting while Labour tries to soften the blow for those on low incomes.
The Financieele Dagblad agrees with the Telegraaf. ‘The bill for the crisis is going to be paid by the higher income groups and the elderly’ but the former at least have ‘the strongest shoulders’, the paper writes.
But even if the cabinet manages to stay the course, it is still looking at a financial black hole of €10bn, FD says. And the gap between what Brussels want and the government has to offer is €60bn.
No bridge building there then, FD implies, although the AD thinks the coalition is doing too much to please the EU already: ‘The Netherlands is acting like the swotty kid in the class even without pressure from the European Union and the IMF’. The paper writes that the severity of the cutbacks bring with them the obligation to lighten people’s financial load as soon as the financial-economic situation changes for the better.
Trouw calls the accord ‘brave and without taboos’: Samsom and Rutte have not hesitated to tackle all the major issues and have managed to come up with ‘anything but a cheap compromise’. ‘Building bridges turned out to be more important than realising party political wishes’. The new government is a result of ten years of political instability: ‘The country was gasping for a stable coalition’, the paper writes
The Reformatorisch Dagblad and the Christelijk Dagblad don’t like the fact that there is nothing in the accord about changing the time limit for abortion or banning prostitution. There is not much room for god in the accord and ‘that is not a good thing for society’ , the papers opine.
In its editorial, the NRC comments on the age and presumed wisdom of the ministers: most are experienced politicians in their fifties, although the paper thinks that appointing Amsterdam council executive Lodewijk Asscher as the deputy prime minister is ‘politically risky’.
‘The key figure for Labour is a young, inexperienced politician’, the paper points out.

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