Balkenende III gets green light

10th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

10 July 2006, AMSTERDAM — Jan Peter Balkenende's minority coalition government received the backing of parliament on Friday evening.

10 July 2006

AMSTERDAM — Jan Peter Balkenende's minority coalition government received the backing of parliament on Friday evening.

Left-wing opposition parties were however critical of Balkenende's record to date. Femke Halsema, leader of the green-left Groenlinks, emphasised this was Balkenende's third government in four years.

She and other party leaders warned the Christian Democrat-Liberal coalition government it could lose the support of parliament if it tried to introduce controversial legislation. But Democrat D66 did not follow through on a threat to introduce a motion of no confidence in the government.

The Prime Minister promised in a short speech that his Cabinet, which commands only 71 of the chamber's 150 seats, would act prudently in relation to 'irreversible decisions'. He declined to spell out what legislative reform the coalition would deal with and what issues would be avoided.

Balkenende III's main task will be to introduce the 2007 Budget and associated financial measures in September. The country will go to the polls to elect a new parliament on 22 November.

Labour (PvdA), the largest opposition party, committed itself to working constructively with Balkenende as long as controversial reforms were put off until after the election.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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