Green party may rejoin government formation talks under new mediator

Conversations with new formation mediator Herman Tjeenk Willink on Thursday seems to have reopened the door for GroenLinks to rejoin negotiations with the VVD, CDA and D66. After speaking with Tjeenk Willink on Thursday, GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver emphasized that he will not say no if the mediator wants to explore a restart, the Volkskrant reports. 

In the first two days after Tjeenk Willink took over from Edith Schippers as formation mediator, he spoke to the parties Schippers considered most likely to be able to form a government together. These are the 'engine' of VVD, CDA and D66, with a fourth party to give them a majority in parliament and the Senate - either GroenLinks or ChristenUnie. 

D66 leader Alexander Pechtold was very clear on what he wants: he hopes to restart talks with GroenLinks. "I never wanted the talks to stop", he said after his conversation with Tjeenk Willink. According to Pechtold, a new round of negotiations may well mean that GroenLinks will come back to the table. 

The first round of negotiations between VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks stranded almost three weeks ago over the topic of migration. Schippers concluded that the only other viable option for a four party majority coalition is with ChristenUnie. But this fell apart before the formal negotiations even started - after a talk between Pechtold and ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers, the parties concluded that their differences are too great, specifically on medical ethics issues. 

The VVD and CDA would like to see ChristenUnie as the fourth party, but Segers does not see new talks with Pechtold happening any time soon. On Thursday he repeated that the ChristenUnie wants to negotiate, but only if the party is wanted by everyone else involved. "On that we had to conclude that, at least on the side of the D66, it is not the case", Segers said. He added that he may still negotiate with Pechtold, but only if the D66 leader's attitude changes. "There can be miracles, I believe that, and that would be a miracle."