Thursday, 24 April 2014 - 16:03
A'dam nears 1st city council without Labour in 70 years
For the first time since 1946, Amsterdam may have to move forward with a city council without the PvdA. Almost a week after a minority agreement of D66 and GroenLinks it seems like all signs are pointing to the VVD, not the PvdA, becoming the third partner in the city council. The parties will publicize their choice for partner before the weekend. GroenLinks leader Rutger Groot Wassink felt little excitement at the prospect of associating with a rightist governance. This apprehension against working with the VVD has since been lessened. By first negotiating with the D66, Groot Wassink has set the sharing agreement in ink. Both within and outside the party, there is excitement about "the greenest deal ever." What Groot Wassink has been able to wangle for his party in the deal is seen as an exceptional performance. Groot Wassink knows that the D66 does not want the PvdA in the council, but does not want to risk anything. The D66 could always still choose to forego a partnership with GroenLinks, and opt for the SP and the VVD instead. That would be a waste for all the green plans. GroenLinks may disagree with the VVD on certain points, and may have to hold its tongue at some stages, but it isn't likely that the tone of the ultimate council program will be fundamentally different. It is a risk for GroenLinks to have the PvdA and the SP in the opposition together, however. On the other hand, for Groot Wassink it will not be a problem to tame the PvdA, as long as he can point his finger at The Hague on all problems concerning housing and care.