Dutch PM's appeal snubbed by Labour leader
During his first debate as Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte’s appeal for wide cooperation in parliament met with a snub from Labour Party leader Job Cohen.
Mr Cohen pictured told the new prime minister he should not count on support from his party. “We have deep and principle objections to this cabinet and the coalition agreement and the support agreement. We will not allow ourselves to be used to fill the cracks in this coalition or pick up the pieces left by Mr Wilders,” he said.
Prime Minister Rutte asked for support from the opposition because, as a minority, two-party coalition, the cabinet will sometimes need help from other parliamentary parties. The minority free-market liberal VVD/Christian Democrat CDA coalition does have a pledge of parliamentary support from the anti-Islamic Freedom Party, giving it a flimsy one-seat majority. The coalition has concluded an agreement of support with the controversial party. led by Geert Wilders.
Mr Cohen says support from the Labour Party will depend on how far the cabinet is prepared to meet its demands regarding a fairer distribution of the tax burden and plans for housing and education.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide