No breakthrough in cabinet formation talks; "Definitive conclusions" Wednesday
After hours of consultation, the VVD, D66 and CDA did not reach an agreement on how to proceed with the formation of a new government coalition, informateur Johan Remkes reported on Monday evening. The three parties will discuss further on Wednesday and then definitive conclusions will be drawn, he said in a brief explanation.
Remkes was tasked with investigating a minority government after options to form a broader coalition had failed. After a week of standstill in the formation, Remkes wanted to take stock on Monday. The three parties talked for more than ten hours.
According to the prominent VVD member, the conversation between the three parties is not over on a number of points. He did not want to say anything about a minority government. "We will draw definitive conclusions on Wednesday. At least one thing will not happen: back to the variants that circulated under my predecessor as informateur. We are not going to do that."
In principle, according to Remkes, anything is still possible at this stage. "All kinds of creative variants are also conceivable and we will continue the good conversation about that on Wednesday."
The three political leaders also kept it short, saying it is "not expedient" for the formation process to expand on what was discussed privately.
VVD leader Mark Rutte only said: "It was good conversations, but we are not done." According to Rutte, what was discussed during the ten-hour meeting on Monday will "become clear later". According to him, it was mainly about the question of "who will work with whom" in a coalition.
D66 leader Sigrid Kaag spoke of a "very intensive conversation" and that it was very useful. She said lifting her blockade against the ChristenUnie was also discussed. She did not want to speculate on how to proceed. However, she emphasized that she is "always optimistic".
CDA leader Wopke Hoekstra called it "good, substantive and constructive conversations", where they also concluded "that it makes sense" to continue on Wednesday. According to him, there are still "all kinds of variants" on the table, and not just the options of a minority government or a coalition with six parties.
The D66 would rather not have a minority cabinet. After party consultations, D66 leader Sigrid Kaag showed her willingness to cooperate with the ChristenUnie on Sunday. Kaag had ruled that out this summer. She added that her aim is a coalition with six parties in which the PvdA and GroenLinks are also involved.
VVD and CDA always resisted the latter, because they do not want to be part of a coalition with two left-wing parties at the same time. The PvdA and GroenLinks only want to form a cabinet together. Due to the blockades, the formation process has been in an impasse for months.
Reporting by ANP