Cabinet talks report finalised; walk-out “not chic” says Omtzigt

Caroline van der Plas arrives as Pieter Omtzigt briefs the press. Photo: Robin van Lonkhuijsen ANP

NSC leader Pieter Omtzigt, who pulled the plug on talks to form a right-wing government last week, is at Monday morning’s meeting to discuss the report on the formation process so far.

Omzigt said last Tuesday that there was no point in continuing the negotiations and left The Hague without briefing the other three parties and negotiations leader Ronald Plasterk. The former CDA MP told reporters on Monday morning that he had not pulled the plug in “the chicest possible way”. 

“That is what can happen if you are a young party… I don’t think I would do it like that a second time,” he said, adding that he had tried to phone Plasterk several times to explain but without success.

Omtzigt joined far-right leader Geert Wilders, Caroline van der Plas from pro countryside party BBB and the right-wing Liberals leader Dilan Yesilgöz to discuss Plasterk’s report on Monday morning. 

The report will be sent to parliament in the afternoon. Negotiations on forming a new government started 82 days ago. 

Omtzigt said again on Monday he had walked out of the talks because of the state of the government’s finances after being handed “extremely worrying” ministry documents.

“Those documents were the last straw,” he said on Monday, before criticising the “leaks and tweets” which characterised the last few weeks of talks. “I’m not going to say the atmosphere between the five of us was great or nothing had happened,” he said. “And then we had this.”

On Sunday, VVD stalwart and government troubleshooter Johan Remkes told a television current affairs show that he did not see the four parties managing to put together a majority cabinet.

Instead they should focus on deciding what sort of cabinet they wanted, he said. 

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