Christian Democrat rift widening over PVV
Concerns among Dutch Christian Democrat leaders about cooperation with the anti-Islam PVV party are growing by the day. Today, caretaker Christian Democrat Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin voiced grave apprehension at the rift that is emerging in his party over a possible cooperation with the far-right PVV.
Deputy Interior Minister Ank Bijleveld, the party's number two, also announced today that she has applied for the post of Royal Commissioner in the province of Overijssel. She stressed, however, that she will continue negotiating with the VVD and the PVV to reach a coalition agreement. Some analysts see the move as a sign of dissatisfaction at the talks with the PVV.
In recent weeks, several former Christian Democrat leaders, among them a number of former prime ministers and former cabinet ministers, expressed similar concerns. But now they are being joined by a growing number of current CDA politicians. Health Minister Ab Klink, who recently resigned as coalition negotiator, had so far been the only active CDA minister to voice criticism at cooperation with the PVV.
The growing tide of criticism is putting pressure on CDA parliamentary party leader Maxime Verhagen, who is looking increasingly isolated.
However, on Friday, following coalition talks with VVD leader Mark Rutte and PVV leader Geert Wilders, Mr Verhagen again expressed optimism. He said: "I am convinced I will be able to convince the party" with the outcome of the coalition negotiations.
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