Cabinet satisfied with first 100 days
22 May 2007, UTRECHT - The cabinet concluded its 100-day period of consultation with society about its plans with a meeting in Utrecht on Monday and a group appearance on the television programme hosted by Knevel and Van den Brink.
22 May 2007
UTRECHT - The cabinet concluded its 100-day period of consultation with society about its plans with a meeting in Utrecht on Monday and a group appearance on the television programme hosted by Knevel and Van den Brink.
Earlier in the day many of the government members made a last foray into the country to talk to citizens and representatives from organisations and businesses.
Despite criticism from the opposition that the cabinet was wasting time and should actually get down to work, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende is very happy with the outcome of the project. "By starting with dialogue, the policy can be implemented better and it will work out better." The prime minister promised that the dialogue would continue.
The hundred days were meant to result in a policy programme, an elaboration of the coalition accord, to be presented on 14 June. The new ideas that the government members have come up with during their tour of the country will help them in working out the plans. This also gets citizens more involved in policy, Balkenende said.
Deputy Prime Minister Wouter Bos does not understand the opposition's scepticism about the cabinet's "travelling circus," as it has been called. "Nowhere in the country did I meet anyone who asked: what are you doing here?" Bos said. Bos says that policy has always been worked out too much behind closed doors. "People see politics as something that gets in their way."
Bos and Balkenende will have to coordinate the discussion on finalising the policy programme in the coming weeks. Last week it emerged that the ministers want to spend a great deal more than the EUR 10 billion that is available for new policy and tax cuts.
Balkenende and Bos said it was nothing new that every minister wants to get the largest budget he can. "That's always the way it is, isn't it?" the prime minister said.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news