'Super Province' idea crashes; Cabinet divided
The fusion of the provinces North-Holland, Utrecht and Flevoland into one big super province, Noordvleugel, is losing speed every day, according to sources of De Volkskrant. The Cabinet will likely scrap the idea entirely at the end of the week, as political opinions on this topic are not flexible. The ministers Ronald Plasterk (Internal Affairs), Jeroen Dijsselbloem (Finance) and Melanie Schultz (Infrastructure and Environment) will discuss the issue at the Ministry of Internal Affairs today. They will be joined in talks by the faction spokespersons of VVD, PvdA, D66 and GroenLinks. The D66 and GroenLinks are necessary to make sure that there is Senate support.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and faction leaders will be in discussion on Thursday in the Ministry of General Affairs, where the sources predict the announcement will be made that the proposal has become too complicated to execute. The Noordvleugel (North Wing) province has been taken up into the coalition agreement of Cabinet Rutte II. It was a VVD idea that was meant to slim down public administration. Rutte feels it is a worthy idea, but the PvdA is sensitive about the issue. Many officials in the country are against the idea. They fear electoral damage with the impending elections for the Provincial States, in March 2015. The PvdA has suffered a lack of votes in the municipal council elections as well as the European Parliament elections. This is why there is little will to push this plan forward. The D66 also supports the idea of adjusting the size of the provinces, provided that the PvdA also supports it. GroenLinks wants to know exactly how the remaining provinces will look, and also want to put nature and environment fist. This would cost up to €400 million. Opposition parties ChristenUnie and SGP are entirely against "the monster province", according to De Volkskrant.