In what is believed to be the first substantive progress to government formation in the Netherlands since mid-May, Prime MInister Mark Rutte, the head of the conservative VVD party, is meeting Thursday with political leaders Sybrand Buma (CDA), Alexander Pechtold (D66) and Jesse Klaver (GroenLinks). They will be joined by new coalition mediator Tjeenk Willink, sources have told news agency ANP, the first time the four parties have attempted to break their deadlock in over three weeks.
VVD leader Mark Rutte and GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver met with mediator Herman Tjeenk Willink at his home on Wednesday in another effort to break through a stalemate that formed around the formation of a new Dutch government. Afterwards neither Klaver nor Rutte would comment on what was discussed, but it is believed that the topic was a restart of negotiations between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks, NU.nl reports.
It's been exactly 11 weeks and five days since the Netherlands' parliamentary election and the country still doesn't have a new government. Formation talks continue today with mediator Herman Tjeenk Willink meeting with the leaders of the VVD, CDA and D66 this afternoon, according to various Dutch newspapers.
Conversations with new formation mediator Herman Tjeenk Willink on Thursday seems to have reopened the door for GroenLinks to rejoin negotiations with the VVD, CDA and D66. After speaking with Tjeenk Willink on Thursday, GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver emphasized that he will not say no if the mediator wants to explore a restart, the Volkskrant reports.
Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte clashed with CDA parliamentarian Pieter Omtzigt on the subject of the political relationship with Russia and the MH17 investigation in parliament on Wednesday. Rutte told Omtzigt to think about whether he wants to keep making "a political number out of MH17", or if he'd rather have the "bastards" responsible convicted, RTL Nieuws reports.
Very little is known about how European Parliamentarians spend the about 4,300 thousand euros per month they receive fo expense compensation, NOS reports based on a European research project the broadcaster and 48 other journalists took part in. Many of the Dutch politicians NOS questioned on the matter, were reluctant to give information.
VVD leader and current prime minister Mark Rutte is open to restarting government formation talks with the 'engine' of VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks, but only if green leader Jesse Klaver is willing to come to the table without setting any conditions in advance. Klaver sees no point in continuing the negotiations if the VVD and CDA are not willing to compromise on the immigration and asylum seekers policy, NU.nl reports.
After weeks of "only" being the VVD leader at the government formation talks, current Prime Minister Mark Rutte now seems to be taking the lead in attempting to pull the negotiations out of their current impasse. On Wednesday he had one-on-one meetings with D66 leader Alexander Pechtold and CDA leader Sybrand Buma, AD reports.
Edith Schipers, the mediator in the Dutch government formation talks, plans to contniue exploring to find the best way to form the new Dutch government, despite the current impasse. She asked the party leaders to keep themselves available for meetings on Friday, Schippers reported to Tweede Kamer presidend Khadija Arib on Wednesday, NU.nl reports.
The D66 will not accept the invitiation to talk with the VVD, CDA and ChristenUnie on forming a government together, the party announced during the early hours of Wednesday morning. A failed discussion with the ChristenUnie on Tuesday showed that the two parties can't bridge their differences and further negotiations "would not be sensible", the party said, according to ANP.
A coalition of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie is the only majority variant with which the government formation talks can continue, mediator Edith Schippers said on Monday afternoon after again speaking to party leaders, NOS reports.
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold thinks that a coalition with the VVD, CDA, D66, SP and PvdA is a solid formation for the new Dutch government. He asked negotiation mediator Edith Schippers to invite the socialists and labour party to the negotiations, rather than Christian party ChristenUnie, NU.nl reports.
Pechtold believes that the VVD, CDA, D66, SP and PvdA will make a combination that can connect progressively and conservatively. Together the five parties also have a stable majority in both the lower house of parliament and the Senate.
Multiple attempts to get a second round of government formation talks going, failed to get off the ground. The forming of a new Dutch cabinet is now facing a looming stalemate, CDA leader Sybrand Buma warns. "The situation is now in danger of creating an impasse as parties say they don't want to participate, or won't participate in certain compositions", he said after his second meeting in as many days with negotiation mediator Edith Schippers, NU.nl reports.
Christian party CDA and democrats D66 called on socialist party SP to join them and liberal VVD in negotiations to form a new Dutch government together. During the election campaign SP leader Emile Roemer insisted that his party will not work with the VVD.
CDA leader Sybrand Buma called on Roemer to get off the sidelines, in the parliamentary debate about the failed formation attempt between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks on Wednesday. "Have the guts to start the negotiations", he said in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, NU.nl reports.
VVD leader Mark Rutte is carefully considering the next steps in the Dutch cabinet formation now that negotiations between his party, the CDA, D66 and GroenLinks collapsed. He is clear on one thing however - the VVD still won't rule with anti-Islam nationalist Geert Wilders and his PVV, he said to RTL Nieuws.
On Thursday evening Edith Schippers announced that government formation talks between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks collapsed. The parties could not agree on a migration policy, and there were problems agreeing to issues concerning climate change, sustainability and income equality.
After 61 days of negotiations, talks to form a new Dutch ruling cabinet fell apart on Monday, according to a press release from Edith Schippers. "It has not worked out; the talks have ended," Schippers said at the beginning of a press conference announcing the news.
Nearly nine weeks after the election, the parties differences were simply too great, she added. Attempts at forming a policy to handle migrants to the Netherlands proved to be the last straw. The parties were also far apart on issues related to climate change, energy sustainability and income she said.
From a survey by Whooz regarding Dutch citizens' preferences for the current coalition formation among 9,500 respondents divided in 14 target groups, it appears a coalition between the 'core bloc' of VVD, D66 and CDA together with GroenLinks is most popular. This cabinet is slightly more desirable to Dutch citizens than a combination of the core bloc with the ChristenUnie. Third in line is a leftist coalition with CDA, D66, GroenLinks, SP, PvdA and PvdD.
A Polish driver convicted of killing a toddler and her grandparents in a hit-and-run accident in Meije, Limburg four years ago, was given early release so he could return to Poland to be there when his girlfriend gives birth. PVV, SP, CDA and VVD parliamentarians are outraged by the man's release. They call for the system for early release to be changed, NOS reports.
The CDA is causing annoyance at the government formation negotiation table because party leader Sybrand Buma is saying 'no' to almost every proposed climate measure, sources around the negotiations told newspaper AD.
Opposition parties PVV and SP want clarity from Edith Schippers on the status of the government formation. Schippers is leading negotiations between the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks on the four parties forming a government together.
On Wednesday afternoon European Central Bank president Mario Draghi is visiting the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament. He can expect to be met with hostility and demands for the ECB to stop pushing billions of euros into the European economy in an effort to boost growth, NU.nl reports after speaking with numerous parliamentarians.