GroenLinks’ Klaver condemns lack of urgency in cabinet talks

Photo: Friends of Europe via Flickr

The four parties currently in talks on forming a new government are not displaying the “urgency” needed to get the Netherlands back on track and should think about giving up, former GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver said in a speech to mark Labour Day on May 1. 

If they continue to “muddle along” it is time to say “Let us pass it on, because we are not getting anywhere,” Klaver said. “We are watching frantic efforts to put something together which everyone knows will collapse pretty quickly, if they do manage to form a cabinet.”

Klaver was echoing comments made by GroenLinks-PvdA leader Frans Timmermans, who said last month that 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”. 

The GroenLinks-PvdA alliance came second in the November general election, and would be next to try to form a government, if the current talks end in failure.

“Something needs to happen after half a year of nothing,” Timmermans told the AD in an interview. “You can’t keep people waiting forever. The PVV, VVD, NSC and BBB are flogging a dead horse.” 

The negotiations, which have been ongoing for five months are currently on hold because of the May holidays, although the party leaders have said they are talking behind the scenes. 

The negotiating team is due to report back to parliament by May 15 and has said next week is crunch time when the parties will have to make some hard decisions.

Meanwhile, newspaper Trouw has published an editorial condemning Geert Wilders, leader of the far-right PVV, for taking part in an ultra-conservative conference in Hungary last week. 

“Single, illegal men are flooding Europe and forming a danger to our wives and daughters,” the paper quoted Wilders as saying. “These are the words of the man who wants to be prime minister of the Netherlands,” the paper said, calling on the media and politicians not to “normalise” his ideas. 

“But what is more worrying, is the silence from the VVD, NSC and BBB about these extreme comments on migration,” the paper said. “It is to be hoped that the formation partners use the current pause to draw their own conclusions about the PVV leader.”

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