Liberal, green party leaders meet in effort to break through Dutch govt. formation stalemate

VVD leader Mark Rutte and GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver met with mediator Herman Tjeenk Willink at his home on Wednesday in another effort to break through a stalemate that formed around the formation of a new Dutch government. Afterwards neither Klaver nor Rutte would comment on what was discussed, but it is believed that the topic was a restart of negotiations between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks, reports. 

Talks between the four parties stranded a few weeks ago on the topic of migration. According to NRC, GroenLinks could not accept a plan to make an asylum agreement with north African countries similar to the one between the EU and Turkey. That agreement states that Turkey will stop asylum seekers traveling to Europe, in exchange for money for asylum shelter in the region. Shortly after the talks fell apart CDA leader Sybrand Buma, Rutte and Klaver all said they don't see the talks restarting. That may now be changing.

This is one of only two relatively likely options for a four party coalition that will have a majority in parliament and the Senate. Many parties refuse to work together, or refuse to be part of a government at all, for several reasons.

The only other possibility is the 'engine' of VVD, CDA and D66 with ChristenUnie. But talks between these four parties fell apart before the formal negotiations even began. One discussion between D66 leader Alexander Pechtold and ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers was enough for them to realize the differences between their two parties are too great. 

It seems even less likely that Pechtold and Segers will be able to sort out their differences than that a compromise can be made on migration. Segers said that he is willing to negotiate, but only if his party is wanted by everyone involved - and for that Pechtold would have to change his attitude, the Christian party leader said. Pechtold made no secret of the fact that he would rather negotiate with GroenLinks.