On Tuesday night, the leaders of the three parties – the VVD, PVV and Christian Democrats - said they had finalised a draft agreement which covers the main policy plans for the next four years.Snouck has video of the announcement.
‘I am very pleased with the result. An awful lot of people are going to be delighted,' VVD Mark Rutte was quoted as saying by Nos tv.
PVV leader Geert Wilders, who is due to appear in court on Monday charged with inciting hatred and discrimination, described the agreement as historic. The PVV will have 'an enormous amount of influence' as a silent partner, he said.
Details of the agreements are still sketchy. It is expected that the contents will be made available on Thursday, after the respective parliamentary fractions have been informed. The final hurdle will come Saturday, when the party conference of the CDA will pronounce verdict over the agreements. If the CDA backs the deal, Mark Rutte will begin the process of finding ministers and putting the cabinet together.
On the left the wailing and gnashing of teeth has started with Labour leader Job Cohen saying a right-wing minority cabinet would be the worst possible outcome for the Netherlands. ‘The PVV has far too much power and very little responsibility’. D66 leader Alexander Pechtold even labelled the likely new government as an ‘unsavoury adventure’.
Too soon yet for that cartoon, but like Chris Matthews before me, I feel a tingle...
[UPDATE001] And we're off to a flying start! According to De Telegraaf (NL) the new government will end the smoking ban in small café's without employees, directly in opposition to EUnion ambitions for a EU-wide blanket smoking ban. This may be a signal that this new government will not jump to at every brainfart wafting down from Brussels. Maybe even a little resistance? One hardly dares to hope...