Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte feels sure that people have faith in the coalition partners (VVD and Christian Democrats) with the support of the Freedom Party to find a solution to the government budget problems. He does not think the media silence around the negotiations will make people feel insecure.
Following Friday’s cabinet meeting, the prime minister refused to comment on the negotiations which began on Monday. He says that would damage the process. The talks continued at the end of the afternoon in the Catshuis, the prime minister’s official residence in The Hague.
One of the matters that may have been discussed is the development cooperation budget. The Freedom Party wants to see substantial cuts in aid. But this is a sensitive subject for the Christian Democrats. Earlier the two coalition parties said they would continue to uphold the internationally agreed minimum of 0.7 percent of the Gross National Product for aid during their term in office.
Christian Democrat Deputy Minister Ben Knapen declined to comment after Friday’s cabinet meeting whether he was prepared to let this figure go and referred journalists to the Catshuis talks.
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