You’ve got until June 1: Timmermans gives cabinet talks deadline

Frans Timmermans after meeting cabinet negotiators in February. Photo: Phil Nijhuis ANP

The Netherlands has had a caretaker government for almost five months and there is no sign of a quick resolution, given little progress is being made in the coalition talks on tricky issues such as immigration and manure.

Now Frans Timmermans, leader of the GroenLinks-PvdA alliance, has said he would welcome having a role in the negotiations, but not with the far-right PVV.

Speaking to current affairs show Nieuwsuur on the eve of the party’s national congress, Timmermans said that he is ready to step in if the current talks fail. And should the Liberal party VVD ring, “I would not slam the door shut,” Timmermans said. 

Timmermans’ alliance won 25 seats at the general election in November 2022, putting it in second place, ahead of the VVD. But VVD leader Dilan Yesilgöz has said repeatedly she would not work with the GL-PvdA, prefering instead to negotiate with the far right.

If the PVV, VVD, NSC and BBB have not reached a deal by June 1, “they need to look for alternatives but not to new elections,” Timmermans told the AD

“Something needs to happen after half a year of nothing,” he said. “You can’t keep people waiting for ever. The PVV, VVD, NSC and BBB are flogging a dead horse.” 

The current negotiating team is due to report back on progress by May 15.

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