Political horse-trading to build a senate coalition continues

Crucial talks between the cabinet and four opposition parties on winning support for its €6bn cuts and tax increase package ended in the early hours of Tuesday morning without result, Nos television reports.

While positions on a number of key issues ‘have become clearer’, no details were made public and the talks will continue on Tuesday, the broadcaster said.

D66 leader Alexander Pechtold and the leaders of the two small Christian parties said there are still wide differences between the four parties and a lot still has to be calculated.


Sources suggest that the left-wing green party GroenLinks is demanding the tax system be made ‘greener’ and is unwilling to back a broad range of spending cuts. GroenLinks leader Bram van Oijk described the negotiations as ‘complicated’.

D66 wants to break open the ‘social accord’ agreed between ministers, unions and employers.

That deal states that reforms to redundancy law and unemployment benefit will be delayed until 2015. D66 wants to bring that forward but both unions and employers are totally opposed to this.


The cabinet needs the support of a combination of opposition parties because it does not have a majority in the senate, or upper house.

The Labour VVD coalition is eight senators short of a majority in the 75-seat house. D66 and GroenLinks both have five senators, ChristenUnie two and the SGP 1.

The Christian Democrats pulled out of the talks last week, and the other opposition parties made it clear at the start they would not participate.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation