New govt. almost formed: more money for education, defense, police, sustainability

Prime Minister Mark Rutte (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Sebastiaan ter Burg)Prime Minister Mark Rutte (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Sebastiaan ter Burg)

After over 200 days of government formation talks, the Rutte III cabinet's government agreement is as good as done. The VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie reached agreements on the last major issues and the agreement is expected to be presented next week. The new government plans to invest more in education, defense, police and sustainability, the Volkskrant reported on Wednesday night.

The new government set aside almost 500 million euros extra for primary education, on top of the 270 million euros already promised a few weeks ago. Despite this, primary school teachers are still striking today - working on the "seeing is believing" principle. They want the new government to invest 1.4 billion euros into primary education - 900 million euros to increase their salaries, the rest to lower their work load.

In the coming days, the formation parties will discuss some details and put their agreements into readable text. The expectation is that party leaders Mark Rutte, Sybrand Buma, Alexander Pechtold and Gert-Jan Segers will give a press conference in the Tweede Kamer on Tuesday, to explain the new government's plans for the country. Later next week, there will be a parliamentary debate with formation mediator Gerrit Zalm, and after that VVD leader Rutte will assemble the cabinet's team of Ministers. 

The new government is expected to take office in the week of October 23rd, according to the newspaper. If that is the case, the Rutte III government will break the record for the longest formation ever in Netherlands history. The previous record was held by the Van Agt I government, whose formation took 208 days in 1997. Today is the Rutte III government's 204th day of negotiations.