Formation talks on hold until January. “Everyone needs a break”

Mona Keijzer and Caroline van der Plas (BBB), Sophie Hermans (VVD) and Pieter Omtzigt (NSC) following talks this week. Photo: Robin Utrecht ANP

The four parties currently in talks on forming a right-wing government for the Netherlands will resume their meetings after a Christmas break.

Ronald Plasterk, who is leading the talks, said the four parties have had “three, good, tough and content-rich conversations” this week. The talks will continue on January 2 with different combinations of the four parties.

The current phase aims to reach a “common basis” for more substantial talks on policy to continue. The VVD has said it will support a PVV-led government but will not join it. The pro-countryside BBB is keen to join a coalition and the NSC has doubts about several anti-constitutional aspects of Wilders’ policies.

All four parties have agreed to radio silence about their progress.

The participants have had a tough time of late “with forming new parties, campaigning and new groups in parliament,” Plasterk said, adding that everyone needs a break to recover.

PVV leader Geert Wilders, whose far-right party emerged as the biggest in the November vote, said he was taking a holiday with “a very good feeling” but declined to say anything about the subject of the talks.

“It has been a hectic year, with the elections and now the formation,” he said. “It is good to do something else for a week, to empty your head and be with your loved ones.”

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