Day 126 of formation talks; still no new Dutch government

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No image availableNL Times

Today is the 126th day of government formation talks in the Netherlands. And while the formation still seems to be far from over, progress is being made. The financial part of the formation is going so well, that mediator Gerrit Zalm hopes to have this phase finished today, BNR reports. 

Once the financial part is complete, the documents can be sent to central planning office CPB to be checked over and credited, and the negotiators can break for summer holiday. 

The party leaders of the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie are all eager for a break. "Slowly our families start asking us; are we also getting a holiday? And that is necessary, if I'm being honest", CDA leader Sybrand Buma said to NOS. D66 leader Alexander Pechtold agrees: "A holiday will be good for the peace of mind of many." After 126 days of talks, everyone is tired - especially the negotiators for the VVD, CDA and D66, who've been part of the talks since day one.

But while the financial part of the government formation is going well, the parties are still struggling to agree on other topics, such as climate. While all four parties agree that the Paris climate agreement must be upheld and implemented, the how of it is still unclear. Zalm instructed the CDA and D66 to write up the climate part of the government agreement together, with the idea that if those two parties can agree on it, the other two should be able to just fall in. 

This is proving more difficult than expected, because the CDA and D66 agree on very little in the climate area. The D66 aims for climate neutrality by 2050. The CDA acknowledges that the goals of the climate agreement must be reached, but has almost nothing on how to do it in the party program, according to BNR.