Friday, August 27, 2010

Fretting about the Formation

Formation negotiations

Since the 9 June 2010 elections Dutch politicians have been working on various possible coalitions. A left-wing variant and a centre variant have been tried and since July 31 a right-wing variant is under negotiation. Within a few days the negotiations for the right-wing minority government with the tacit support of the Freedom Party (PVV) will have gone on for a month. With nothing to show for it. Additionally former CDA Prime Minister Lubbers wrote some leaked letter to the secretariat of the party stating his opposition to a coalition with tacit support of the PVV today.

So I am starting to fret.

Minor contentious issues

I was put at ease by an article in the "Het Financieele Dagblad", a financial daily which takes itself somewhat serious. They report that insiders state that the negotiators of the Christian Democrats (CDA), right liberal VVD and the populist Freedom Party (PVV) are close to a settlement. Close means early next week.

The insiders say that major issues have been resolved. Only a minor issue has to be taken care of.

A list of agreed cuts

The article mentions other cuts, which are not problematic. Development aid, defense, cuts in the care for handicapped youngsters, tax cuts, cuts in the number of civil servants and their salaries, cuts in subsidies to public broadcasting and cuts on the Dutch subsidy to the EU have been agreed upon.

The health budget

For the CDA a problematic issue remains the planned cuts on the health budget. So if these insiders are right this is all they have been talking about for the past two days.

I feel much relieved. Nothing to worry about. Everyting is in order.

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