GroenLinks Quits Budget Negotiations

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By total surprise GroenLinks has announced on Wednesday to stop with the negotiations to find a solution for the National Dutch Budget.

Bram van Ojik told in TV show Pauw and Witteman, that he didn’t see any progress and therefore decided to step out.

According to him is Mark Rutte a king in finding ways to please everybody but his is not good in making final decisions. During such negotiations, van Ojik said, one must have the feeling that a solution is at hand. “I didn’t have that feeling.” As an example van Ojik mentioned the ‘air tax’. “Officially the air tax is still on the table but I estimated the chances that it really would be part of the final solution as extremely small.”

Van Ojik thinks that the other parties will find a solution soon, without GroenLinks.

Negotiation partners caught by surprise

The first reaction came from PvdA. The PvdA said that they were very surprised by the decision of GroenLinks. Especially because there were so many green issues implemented on  the table and more than enough possibilities to fulfill the wishes of GroenLinks.

VVD was also surprised, but said that they respect the decision of GroenLinks. Arie Slob of ChristenUnie also said he was very surprised.

D66 leader Alexander Pechtold said to be very surprised. “very party has to make its own decision, but we don’t think this is the right moment to quit the negotiations. I also have been thinking about quitting this week, but on the other hand there are still possibilities for a solution.”

Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem who leads the negotiations said that he doesn’t understand ‘at al’ why GroenLinks quits the negotiations. “We were still discussing and in concept we had a solution. There were plenty of issues, important to GroenLinks, which we had implemented in the concept plans. We have never made it a requirement to accept the 6 billion euro cuts, in order to be able to take part in the negotiations.”

The remaining discussion partners have exactly the number of seats in the Senate to have a majority.