Dutch cuts package talks continue
Outgoing Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager will on Thursday again meet with the parliamentary leaders of coalition partners VVD and CDA and the opposition parties D66, Green Left and Christian Union in an attempt to reach agreement on a package of cuts which would bring the budget deficit down to the EU limit of percent of GDP.
Mr De Jager spent most of Wednesday in a series of talks with all parties. He said afterward that the talks had been positive and constructive, and that progress was made, but an agreement was not yet in sight. Parliament will debate the issue on Thursday afternoon.
The government had - after seven weeks of talks - agreed a raft of cuts and reforms worth about 14 billion euros with Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party. At the last moment, Mr Wilders pulled out of the deal and on Monday the government fell.
It remains to be seen whether or not Mr De Jager will succeed in his last-minute attempt to get a suitable package of cuts agreed by parliament before the EU deadline of 30 April. The Netherlands will face a fine of 1.2 billion euros should it fail to its 2013 budget deficit down to the three-percent EU limit.
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