Dutch government negotiations reach impasse

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-14 19:13:46|Editor: Zhang Dongmiao
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THE HAGUE, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Three months after the Dutch elections the formation of a new Dutch government is deadlocked, with green lefties GroenLinks being blamed for another formation failure during a fierce debate in parliament on Tuesday.

Last Monday government explorer Herman Tjeenk Willink, who took over from Edith Schippers after the latter had failed to form a coalition government, announced that the negotiations between the rightist liberals VVD, the leftist democrats D66, Christian Democrats CDA and GroenLinks had collapsed for the second time. GroenLinks did not agree with a proposal on migration for the second time.

During a debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday all parties pointed at GroenLinks for having blocked this majority government again. "The distance between the parties was too big," GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver explained. "For GroenLinks, the distinction between economic migrants and people who flee for war and violence is essential. Those who flee for war and violence are entitled to protection and shelter."

Klaver wanted waterproof guarantees that the countries with which the European Union had agreed would actually give the right to protection and care. He also stressed that political refugees in Europe should be able to ask for asylum.

VVD leader and outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he was "substantively disturbed" because, according to him, "there were decent agreements on migration, in which all international treaties would be respected". He added that "even the most left-wing governments in Europe" can live with these types of agreements.

D66 leader Alexander Pechtold used the words "staggering and disappointing" and found the demands of GroenLinks "unfeasible". CDA leader Sybrand Buma added that that GroenLinks had "incomprehensible and irresponsible" demands.

Now GroenLinks is definitely no option anymore for VVD, CDA and D66 the question remains what's next? The coalition with GroenLinks was the favorite option of all parties.

A small majority with the small Christian party ChristenUnie remains an option, but this possibility has also collapsed already with Schippers on disagreement between D66 and the ChristenUnie. D66 leader Pechtold is still not willing to cooperate with the ChristenUnie. "Such a cabinet does not link the left and the right and has a very fragile majority," he said.

Pechtold is now hoping for participation of the other left parties PvdA (Labor) or SP (Socialist Party), but the SP does not want to govern with the VVD. PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher repeated during the debate that his position has not changed and that the PvdA does not want to govern as biggest loser of the elections.

Another option would be to form a majority coalition with the right wing populist Party for Freedom PVV, but all three parties excluded governing with the PVV. There is one other suggestion by SP leader Emile Roemer for a central left government without the VVD, but that six-party option (CDA, D66, SP, GroenLinks, PvdA, ChristianUnie) is also very difficult.

"Urgency is now increasing and the clock is ticking," said explorer Tjeenk Willink in the debate. He added that he is still looking for a majority cabinet, but might have to conclude that a minority government with VVD, CDA and D66 is the only option left. The waiting is now for the next step of Tjeenk Willink.