Zwarte Piet talks to be held in secret

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The discussions surrounding the appearance of Zwarte Piet, and thereby also what the Sinterklaas festivities as a whole will look like, will take place this month, but involved parties will not announce exact dates in order to minimize public tensions, the Algemeen Dagblad reports. 

Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs will be present at the discussions. A spokesperson says that he will not be in place to give guidelines on the appearance of Zwarte Piet and the festivities, but will act as mediator. "He wants to try to make sure that emotions don't run out of hand this year", his spokesperson tells the AD.

The only details that are known is that the discussions will take place this month, and that certain concerned parties will be present. This includes the NRT, the television service that makes the Sinterklaas broadcast, the municipality of Gouda, where the national entry-tour of Sinterklaas takes place, and the Center for Folk Culture and Piet Guilds.

Minister Asscher's spokesperson expressly states that these parties do not want television crews and reporters "who expect the Minister to say: this is the way we are going to celebrate Sinterklaas."

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