Dutch coalition talks resume after a four-day break

Mona Keijzer and Caroline van der Plas talk to reporters. Photo: Remko de Waal ANP

Talks on forming a new coalition government started up in The Hague again on Tuesday under the guidance of former PvdA minister Ronald Plasterk, but the four party leaders gave little away about contents when questioned by reporters.

Plasterk too declined to comment on progress so far, pointing out that the four parties had agreed to keep “radio silence” to avoid leaks.  That means nothing will be said about the process, the contents and the agenda, Plasterk said.

Last week the negotiators held three days of talks on a country estate but they are now back in The Hague and Plasterk is due to report back to parliament early next month. The talks were halted for two weeks over the Christmas break.

The talks start up again on the second day of debate on legislation to spread newly arrived asylum seekers nationwide to ensure all local authorities make a contribution.

The PVV, VVD and BBB voted against the legislation last year and their senators are also likely to do so. Together, however, opponents of the legislation can only count on 37 of the 75 senate seats, which is not enough to halt the bill.

Geert Wilders, leader of the far right PVV, said on social media this weekend that he hoped the “terrible bill” would be thrown out. “The Netherlands is full to overflowing,” he said. “Enough is enough. Get rid of the law.”

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