Green Left party leader Jolande Sap says she's certain last week's budget agreement will not fall apart as the five political parties flesh out the details of billions of euros in spending cuts needed to bring the Netherlands' budget deficit in line with EU regulations.
In an interview with the Dutch news website NU.nl, Sap said that she felt comfortable speaking also for the D66 and Christian Union parties, and that she believed the Christian Democrats (CDA) and the conservative VVD would not be foolish enough to jeopardise the deal.
The five-party deal came about when anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders’ walked out of talks on a cutbacks package with the two minority government parties, the Christian Democrats and the VVD. The minority coalition officially relied on Mr Wilders’ Freedom Party to make up a majority in parliament. Mr Wilders’ refusal to back a cutback deal led to the collapse of the government. The current agreement was put together in record time, but is short on specifics.
The Dutch Central Planning Bureau is attempting to calculate the economic impact of the plan. In all likelihood, the five parties will need to fill in more details in order to satisfy the EU that the Netherlands will meet the requirement that the budget deficit should not exceed three percent of GDP. Furthermore, new economic forecasts may show that additional measures are needed.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide