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Wednesday 22 October  
Christian Democrat leader Maxime Verhagen
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The Hague, Netherlands
The Hague, Netherlands

Dutch coalition process: CDA agrees to talk to VVD and Wilders

Published on : 24 July 2010 - 4:31pm | By RNW News Desk (Photo:ANP)
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The Christian Democrats have agreed to join informal talks with the free-market liberal VVD party and Geert Wilders’ far-right Freedom Party (PVV) to determine whether it would be possible to form a rightwing coalition.

The talks come at the request of former Christian Democrat prime minister Ruud Lubbers, who is the present informateur, the person in charge of mediating in the negotiations on the formation of a new government. VVD leader Mark Rutte and Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders had already agreed on Friday to such private informal talks, without the presence of Mr Lubbers.

The Christian Democrats will not set any conditions for their participation in the talks, says party leader Maxime Verhagen. However, if the party then decides to go ahead with formal negotiations with the anti-Islam Freedom Party, it would not be prepared to compromise on issues that are central to Christian Democrat values.

Head-rag tax
Mr Verhagen reiterated that his party is committed to freedom of religion, so a proposed tax on Muslim headscarves (described by Geert Wilders as a 'head-rag tax') would be out of the question. Other controversial Freedom Party policies that would be out of bounds as far as the CDA is concerned are the scrapping of foreign development aid and the compulsory registration of citizens according to ethnic background.

To accommodate CDA qualms, a possible variant on a three-party coalition could be a minority cabinet made up of the VVD and Christian Democrats but supported in parliament by the Freedom Party - an option already mooted by Geert Wilders.

Gulf
The VVD came out on top in last month’s elections – they are now the largest party in parliament by just one seat – while the Freedom Party made the biggest gains. The CDA however, suffered a swingeing loss and up to now has taken a back seat in the coalition talks.

So-called 'purple plus' negotiations between the VVD, Labour Party, Green Left and D66 stranded last week when the VVD leader declared the gulf between his rightwing party and the three leftwing parties to be unbridgeable.

There has been no word yet as to when or where the informal discussions between the VVD and the PVV will be held. Mr Lubbers has said he wants a definite answer as soon as possible, so he can inform Queen Beatrix whether or not formal negotiations about a rightwing cabinet can begin. The queen is responsible for overseeing the process of forming a coalition.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

 

Discussion

Kingite 28 July 2010 - 12:00pm / New Zealand

Geert Wilders...Go you good thing. We NZers down under support you in your convictions to stand up for the what is important regarding Christianity and its fundamental values.
Making a stand for Jesus Christ is perfectly normal and where better to represent yourself but the political chamber of politics.
We NZers know that Islam is a flaud religion and is not the blueprint that Jesus Christ wants to see being established all over the world, especially Europe.
To make a stand for Jesus Crist and His Kingdom principles is more important today to secure the future our generations who will follow in our wake. There will be sleeples nights ahead of you and somtimes you think you are all alone in this important hour...Nevertheless Mr Wilders Keep your head in the game and stay the cause!! We NZers from down under are strongly in favour for your quest to keep Christianity values and freedom alive in Europe and the globe. One Heart, One Mind & One Accord...Stedafast and Immovable Keeping the Faith.

Lewis 26 July 2010 - 11:24am / NL/UK

Someone please pass me the vomit bucket...

dirk 29 July 2010 - 6:54am / New Zealand

Although I agree with Mr.G Wilders in principle, on various aspects of Islamic dress code. I would like to use your bucket, so I also can vomit into it! Christianity is by no means an superior religion.

Patrick Christian 26 July 2010 - 11:57pm / Canada

I have closely studied and followed the work of Mr. Wilders in the past few years, and must say that I whole-heartedly applaud his ideas. He would be widely accepted with open arms here in Canada. I am of Dutch background, and would proudly cast my vote for Mr. Wilders, should he ever decide to run for office in Canada, or should I ever move to the Netherlands. He makes our Conservative government look like a bunch of liberal-minded low-lifes. My prayers are with Mr. Wilders, and I am thrilled to see the PVV doubling in their power. May God bless that party!

Arn Hatfield 26 July 2010 - 1:35am

I really hope that Mr. Mark Rutte and Mr. Verhagen have the good sense to negotiate freely and fairly with Geert Wilders.

They may not agree with Mr. Wilder’s anti-Islam stand but Mr. Wilders is fundamentally instrumental in a movement in the Western hemisphere which is now growing by leaps and bounds.

The PVV and the opinions and desires that it represents can no longer be ignored and/or denounced by the so-called mainstream because the PVV's ideas now represent the mainstream.

Islam, left unchecked, as it has been for the last forty years or so in the West, by a series of left of centre governments is now poised to Islamicize Europe entirely in the next decade or so unless something is done about this NOW.

Godspeed to Geert Wilders and the PVV who represent an international sentiment which has been a long time coming to fruition but the situation is ripe for action and the time is NOW.

Anonymous 25 July 2010 - 4:14pm / Lalaland

A conservative government is an organized hypocrisy. A political party is perpetually corrupted by personality.
Politics consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.

Anonymous 25 July 2010 - 10:21am / Germany

Someone like Geert Wilders is truly necessary in Europe. Most people just want to ignore the threats which islam brings to our free society.

Europe is far to tolerant towards a religious dogma which promotes violence, demands the killing of apostates (law in many islamic countries, based on the sayings of the prophet), of critics (law in many islamic countries, as done by muhammad himself) and is extremely intolerant and discriminating against almost everything.

Allowing the rise of islam in europe is simply suicide. We cannot allow this, and we need more people like mr Wilders.

Anonymous 25 July 2010 - 8:38am

The inclusion of Geert Wilders and his party in any government would bring shame to The Netherlands. The CDA would be going against Christian principles in supporting him in any way. This man is dangerous, as are the trends that the Dutch - and other groups in Europe - are moving toward intolerance. The Dutch should remember the history of the build-up to the Second World War and their role in it. Let us not repeat with Muslims what happened to the Jews then.

David Berridge 25 July 2010 - 6:57am / Canada

This trio isn't going to go anywhere, as both the PVV and the CDA cannot retreat from their fundamentally basic policies on the relationship between the individual and the state. The negociations can run the entire slate of mathematical party combinations, but in the end only a Grand Coalition has the room and ability to arrive at any sort of functional and viable compromise to keep a government together for any workable length of time.

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