Dutch coalition talks reach deadlock as SP, D66 stand firm

Talks on forming a new Dutch coalition government appeared to have reached a deadlock after both D66 and the Socialists refused to budge on possible partners.

The D66 Liberal democrats, considered so far a key part of the coalition alongside the right-wing VVD and the Christian Democrats, say there is no point in involving the ChristenUnie as a potential fourth partner.

Not only would the coalition be unstable, but D66 and ChristenUnie have widely differing views on ethical questions, leader Alexander Pechtold says.

Suggestions that the Socialists join the other three at the negotiating table have been rejected by SP leader Emile Roemer, who is adamant he will not work with the VVD.

‘It looks as if we will reach deadlock if parties continue to say no, or won’t join a certain combination of parties,’ said CDA leader Sybrand Buma after meeting chief negotiator Edith Schippers on Thursday evening.

Roemer had a second meeting with Schippers on Thursday evening but was out after 10 minutes. Roemer said he had suggested that the CDA, D66 and SP form a core group and look to create a centre-left cabinet.


Schippers must now decide what to do next in an effort to get the process moving, the Volkskrant said in its analysis.

The NRC points out that there is no reason to panic. ‘There is no pressure of time. Everyone knew it was going to be a long process,’ the paper says. ‘And if D66 continues to block an alliance with the ChristenUnie, we could always have a minority cabinet of the VVD. CDA and D66,’ the paper said.

Meanwhile, PVV leader Geert Wilders has attacked VVD leader Mark Rutte for ‘going which ever way the wind blows’ and being willing to join forces with the SP.

In an interview to be published in Saturday’s Telegraaf, Wilders says the PVV is the only party which will support the VVD’s wish for a tough policy on immigration.

All the main parties ruled out forming a coalition with the anti-Islam party before the March 15 election after Wilders refused to withdraw anti-Moroccan comments.

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