Superprovince talks dead in the water

Ronald Plasterk
Ronald Plasterk, 27 August 2009.Photo: Wikimedia/Roel Wijnants.

Today, the Cabinet made the official move to stop the controversial planning for a 'super province'. The fusion of the provinces North-Holland, Utrecht and Flevoland already divided Cabinet parties. Thursday's talks on the issue ran to a dead end.

Minister Ronald Plasterk of Internal Affairs attempted to bandy together opposition parties D66 and GroenLinks behind his plan, to achieve Senate majority support, but there was "insufficient political basis."

The plan came with some demands from the opposition parties, including €4 million extra for nature from GroenLinks and political leadership from D66. This, in the end, proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back.

The plan came from the VVD, and was put into the coalition agreement, with support from the PvdA. PvdA-leader Samsom told BNR that he found it a good plan, but the fact remains that wider party backing was necessary.

Minister Plasterk is still behind the idea, and does not believe that it is the idea's foundation that didn't work, but politics. "I find it very disappointing that the proposal will not continue because I think that it is a good proposal. Four parties thought so too. There seemed to be insurmountable differences only on items of the development, and that can happen", the minister tells BNR.