Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - 15:53
Cabinet slowly progressing on asylum seeker rift
With reporting by Zack Newmark. The coalition parties VVD and PvdA (Labour) were back to work on Tuesday in an effort to solve government gridlock over failed asylum seekers. Optimism is growing among many politicians in the talks, with Labour leader Diederik Samsom telling reporters, "now it is really in the right direction." "We have made progress," he said after Tuesday's hours-long session at the Ministry of General Affairs. He suggested a deal might be ready on Wednesday, with talks continuing at 10 a.m. Still, after a lengthy session on Monday that ended at midnight, Samsom reiterated that the two parties "think very differently" with regard to undocumented immigrants and failed asylum seekers. “It goes step by step, and this was a good day,” Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher added, saying a compromise should “bring stability." Conservative VVD party members were more tempered in their words. “It is a difficult problem, and we are trying to get out together, but that takes time,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Monday's session. "It is not hopeless, but it's all in the details," said VVD leader Halbe Zijlstra a day later. The two sides have come a long way, but it is not over until the finer points are worked out, he said. "That point we have not yet reached. " VVD believes that failed applicants have no right to receive a place to sleep, food and bathroom facilities, since it removes their incentive to leave. Labor party believes that the refugees, many of whom are unable to return home due to dangerous circumstances, should receive the basic necessary care.