Dutch cabinet survives no-confidence vote
The motion of no-confidence was initiated by Conservative VVD leader and supported by the Socialist Party and Freedom Party.The Netherlands – The Dutch cabinet has survived a motion of no-confidence, proposed by the opposition conservatives and supported by one third of the lower house.
Conservative VVD leader Mark Rutte tabled the motion after criticising Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende for his lack of vision over how to tackle the economic crisis.
It was the first time in recent parliamentary history that the conservatives took the initiative in tabling a no-confidence motion.
The motion was supported across the floor by the hardline Socialist Party and the extreme right Freedom Party.
Rutte’s irritation was increased as Balkenende struggled to formulate his arguments, avoided answering some questions and forgetting to answer others.
The prime minister’s position was not helped by the Financiele Dagblad report on Thursday that said he is in the running for a post in Brussels.
Despite Balkenende’s earlier denials, the opposition has become increasingly convinced that his mind was already on his new job, reports de Volkskrant.
In response, the prime minister said his cabinet had done a lot to fight the crisis.
A two-thirds majority of the lower house agreed with the cabinet's handling of the crisis and approved the draft budget for 2010 without substantial amendments.
The cabinet has set up 20 committees of civil servants which will make an inventory of potential economy measures for each of the government ministries.
An opposition proposal to curb the costs of the Dutch royal family was rejected.
Radio Netherlands / Expatica