Socialists called to join government formation talks

Christian party CDA and democrats D66 called on socialist party SP to join them and liberal VVD in negotiations to form a new Dutch government together. During the election campaign SP leader Emile Roemer insisted that his party will not work with the VVD.

CDA leader Sybrand Buma called on Roemer to get off the sidelines, in the parliamentary debate about the failed formation attempt between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks on Wednesday. "Have the guts to start the negotiations", he said in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, NU.nl reports.

D66 leader Alexander Pechtold: "Blocking a party with which you cooperate in the municipality and province, is impossible I believe. Will you be a spectator for four years, or will you roll up your sleeves?" Even Jesse Klaver of GroenLinks joined the call. "Try it, you owe it to your voters."

VVD leader Mark Rutte sees possibilities in ruling with the SP and PvdA. He thinks these parties' opinion on migration differs from GroenLinks. Migration is the point on which the previous negotiations fell apart. 

Edith Schippers, who was again appointed mediator for the new negotiations, called on all parties to ask themselves "what is best for the country". 

But Roemer stuck to his guns. The SP will not work with the VVD. Roemer would prefer a center-left cabinet, in which the CDA provides a Prime Minister and the D66, SP, labor party PvdA, GroenLinks and animal party PvdD compliments the coalition.

CDA leader Buma immediately rejected this idea. He finds it "unrealistic" to keep the election winner - the VVD - out of the government. 

On Monday Schippers announced that the formation talks between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks collapsed. The differences between the parties turned out to be too large to form a coalition. She said that migration was the point where the talks fell apart, but climate and income disparities were also issues. According to Schippers, and all four party leaders after the announcement, the decision to stop negotiating was mutual.

In the debate on Wednesday, Rutte said that he does not intend to disclose on what substantive points the negotiations stranded. "Insight into this type of discussion is not possible", he said. Buma, Pechtold and Klaver also didn't give details.

Sources told NRC that the negotiations collapsed because Klaver refused to agree to a deal with northern African countries on asylum seekers. The deal is similar to the asylum agreement between Turkey and the EU, according to the newspaper. It involves giving the country money for asylum shelter in the region and in exchange the country doesn't allow asylum seekers through to Europe, except through legal channels.

Tags: