Coalition talks continue on Friday as Rutte IV gov't agreement nears
The four negotiating parties are not yet done but are approaching the end of the negotiation process. They will continue their consultations about a new coalition agreement on Friday at noon. Guests will again join the formation table, this time representatives from the municipalities, provinces, water boards, employers, and employees.
On Thursday, the VVD, D66, CDA, and ChristenUnie party leaders and their seconds sat down with the two informateurs from 1:00 p.m. until almost 11:00 p.m. Afterwards, they did not want to say more than "it went well and they have come a long way."
No one commented on a possible end date. But insiders reported that a coalition agreement could be presented in the first half of next week. There may be a parliamentary debate on the coalition agreement in the last week before the Christmas break.
D66 leader Sigrid Kaag emphasized late Thursday evening that they continued to work hard. "I hope we arrive at something wonderful, something very ambitious. I am in good spirits." CDA leader Wopke Hoekstra called it "a productive evening in which steps were taken. We are not finished yet, but we have come a long way."
Gert-Jan Segers of the ChristenUnie also pointed to the progress made. "We're moving on steadily. We are approaching the end." Mark Rutte of the VVD was the last to come out and gave the shortest comment: "We won't say anything until we're done."
On Friday, chairman Jan van Zanen of municipalities' association VNG, chairman Jaap Smit of the inter-provincial consultation IPO, and chairman Rogier van Sande of the Union of Water Boards will be the first to meet with the negotiators. After that, Ingrid Thijssen and Tuur Elzinga will join on behalf of the employers and employees.
Reporting by ANP.