Laconical Respsonse Plasterk Abvakabo

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Minister Ronald Plasterk of Interior Affairs has on Sunday responded laconically to the threat, of Abvakabo chairman Corrie van Brenk, that the social agreement will be off the table if the Cabinet cuts 6 billion euro in 2014. "Well, the unions mark their position. That's just part of the game,” he said in the TV program WNL on Sunday.

In March, the government closed the social agreement with employers and employees. An austerity package of 4.3 billion was then put in the refrigerator. The hope was that the economy would attract and that the cuts would not be necessary.

Unfortunately the economic situation remains difficult and the government must, according to EU Commissioner Ollie Rehn (Budget), cut next year 6 billion euro to bring back the deficit to 3 percent.

Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said that the package of 4.3 billion euro cuts, will serve as a basis for the required 6 billion.

FNV chairman Ton Heerts warned the government earlier this week that they are 'playing with fire', by announcing to cut the extra six billion. If the coalition of VVD and PvdA continues their plan, the FNV will prepare for actions, stated Heerts.

Abvakabo Chairman Corrie van Brenk said on Saturday in the radio program Tros Kamerbreed, that if the Cabinet decides in August to go for the extra 6 billion of cuts, that means the end of the social agreement. She added that she is not the final decision maker on this issue because that is FNV chairman Ton Heerts.

Prime Minister Rutte on this matter: "The letter from the government says that there is no thing decided yet. In accordance with the social agreement we will decide in August on the content."

However, Minister Dijsselbloem is already talking to opposition parties to garner support for the cuts. Government parties VVD and PvdA now focus their hopes on opposition parties GroenLinks and D66, two reformist parties which can help the government in the Senate to get a majority.

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