Talks on a new coalition government for in the Netherlands resume on Monday as scout Ronald Plasterk holds a second round of talks with the leaders of the four parties currently considered to be the most likely to work together.
Geert Wilders, leader of the far right PVV, will be first at the table, followed by Caroline van der Plas of the pro-countryside BBB. VVD leader Dilan Yesilgöz, who has said her party will not join a new coalition, is third on the agenda, followed by Pieter Omtzigt from the NSC, who has serious reservations about working with Wilders.
The talks got off to a difficult start. Wilders, who said he wanted to be prime minister for “all the Dutch”, irritated other party leaders by attending a protest meeting about a refugee centre in Kijkdown in which he again spoke about a tsunami of asylum seekers.
He also attacked Omtzigt for playing party politics after the NSC founder said he still had major concerns about some of Wilders’ plans which, he said, are unconstitutional.
Yesilgöz has also insisted on guarantees that the PVV will strengthen the economy and back support for Ukraine and the EU in return for her support as a silent cabinet partner. Wilders, while backing Ukraine against Russia, wants to stop military support for the war effort. He also backs a Nexit.
Commentators say the divisions between the parties are deep and a right-wing coalition is still a long way from becoming a reality. Plasterk was supposed to present his report to parliament this week but that has now been postponed until December 11.
Meanwhile, MPs from the outgoing parliament will meet for the last time on Tuesday and the new look parliament will be sworn in on Wednesday. In total, 65 new MPs will take their seats in the lower house, which has 150 members in total.
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