New Dutch gov't agreement "ambitious and balanced": PM Rutte

After the longest formation process ever in Dutch history, the new Dutch government of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie presented their government agreement to the Tweede Kamer and released it to the public. "The coalition agreement is ambitious and balanced", Prime Minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte said at a press conference after the agreement was handed to the Tweede Kamer, the Volkskrant reports.

"We have chosen for growth and progress. It's going well in the Netherlands, but too many people don't feel it in their personal lives yet. That must improve, our measures are aimed at that", Rutte said. "We made a package that will ensure that all people in the Netherlands move forward. More money for workers, for the elderly, for neighborhoods, for children. This is an agreement in which ordinary, normal Dutch people really move forward. Buma, Segers and Pechtold have chosen not to stay on the sidelines. I am grateful to them for that. For now I say: get started", Rutte said. 

"It was my commitment in these negotiations to give answers to the people's concerns as far as possible, on behalf of the CDA. That succeeded, a new government agreement. We invest in care for the elderly, we will alleviate the burden of healthcare costs", CDA leader Sybrand Buma said. "We will strengthen the sense of togetherness, with attention for our culture, for our national anthem and for citizenship. We support families. We will reform the labor market and make it fairer."

"We kept you in suspense for a long time. But for those who wait so long, there is a reward. This is a unique moment in history: four men saying yes to each other at the same time. Even for a freelance optimist among us, that feels a little awkward", D66 leader Alexander Pechtold said. "The ambitions and core values of D66 leaps out from the agreement. My party campaigned for equal opportunities for all. This coalition is intervening and reducing income disparities with this agreement and everyone comes out ahead. This coalition is making its biggest investment in education. This coalition meets the climate goals of Paris. This coalition puts getting a permanent job back within reach. This agreement is full of ambition, it is an outstreched hand to everyone in the Netherlands."

"An agreement with a lot of ambition. An agreement that makes it noticeable that the ChristenUnie is at the table. A new climate policy, reform of the tax system, this is an agreement with urgency. Reforms investment, decisiveness are never an end in itself", ChristenUnie leader Gert Jan Segers said. "The question is: for whom do we do this? For the future of our children. It is about their education, their freedom and the earth we leave them. Sick and healthy standing in solidarity together, belevers and unbelievers rising for each other's freedom. It wasn't immediately love at first sight. but we found each other in very ambitious plans. And there is trust. I belive that this cabinet can be a success. With confidence in the future, and as far as I'm concerned, hope of blessings."