The VVD-Labour alliance plans so far: What the papers say

Leaks about the right-wing VVD and Labour party PvdA’s plans for government show clear decisions are being made, according to newspaper editorials.

The Financieele Dagblad says the coalition agreement shows the two parties have been able to agree on a straightforward exchange of policies rather than getting bogged down in endless compromise.
That was the two party leaders’ standpoint when they started talking six weeks ago and they would appear to have succeeded.
Key issues
Both parties have given way on key issues, the FD states. For example, despite election pledges, the VVD has agreed to allow changes to the tax break on current mortgages and Labour has agreed to cuts in spending on development aid.
But it would be wrong to accuse the VVD of misleading voters, the FD says. Mark Rutte said keeping the tax break on current mortgages was a ‘top priority’ but not a reason to break off the negotiations.
The same also applies to Labour leader Diederik Samsom’s position on development aid. Labour’s decision to abandon the international standard of 0.7% of GDP shows a new realism within the party.
Positive approach
The Volkskrant says the contours of the new agreement make a positive impression. The positive way the parties have agreed to give way on certain issues is much better for the country than the negative approach of the past.
Nevertheless, the plans will be painful for a large number of people and the new cabinet is right to involve the unions and employers in order to ensure as widespread support as possible.
Involving Amsterdam executive Lodewijk Asscher (not yet confirmed) is also a good strategic move, the VK says. ‘He dared to tackle taboo subjects in Amsterdam, such as the red light district and the problems with immigrants. His nomination strengthens the impression the new cabinet wants to make a determined start.
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