SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Talks on forming a new coalition government in the Netherlands are set to continue this week, 5.5 months after the March 15 general election, but according to the Volkskrant, only three days of negotiations are scheduled.
Parliament officially opens for business again on September 6, after a seven week recess, and the parties are holding end-of-summer meetings with MPs, senators and party workers this week.
The two Christian parties involved in the talks – the Christian Democrats and ChristenUnie – have planned to hold parliamentary party meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The VVD is scheduled to hold its post summer event on Friday while D66 will be holding a beach barbecue the same day. This means formation talks are only likely to take place on Monday, part of Wednesday and Thursday, the Volkskrant said.
Meanwhile, 19 economists who took part in a survey by the Telegraaf to determine what the new government should do are calling for a revision of the tax and extra benefits systems.
In particular, people in work should keep more of their wages through tax cuts, the economists say. This in turn will allow ministers to cut housing and healthcare benefits. However, economists doubt that ministers will come up with a tough programme of reforms.
‘Experience shows that there are only changes in the Netherlands when they are really, really necessary,’ Bas ter Weel, former deputy director of the CPB think-tank, told the paper. (DutchNews)