After two days of negotiations, the parliamentary parties VVD, Christian Democrats, Green Left, Christian Union and D66 appear to be close to a deal.
The parliamentary party leaders will now put the deal to their own MPs. Green Left leader Jolande Sap said the deal was “good enough” to put to her party. Outgoing finance minister Jan Kees de Jager says they have reached agreement on the main points. He said the negotiations had been constructive and getting the budget deficit down to the three percent EU standard was within sight.
He is now meeting Labour leader Diederik Samsom. The Labour Party did not attend the negotiations although Samsom did speak with other party leaders earlier in the day. A debate on the crisis has been postponed this afternoon and will be held this evening instead.
In the past two days, the finance minister has been negotiating with the opposition on a number of austerity measures to bring the budget deficit down to meet a Brussels’ deadline on 30 April. Analysts fear if the Dutch government does not come up with a plan, the Netherlands could be fined 1.2 million euros by Brussels and lose its AAA credit rating.
The minority VVD-Christian Democrat government spent seven weeks negotiating a package with the Freedom Party. However, just when the three parties appeared to be about to conclude a package of 14 billion euros of cuts, the Freedom Party walked out of the talks.
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