Dutch opposition parties react to coalition plans
The Dutch opposition parties have given their reactions to the plans presented this afternoon by the leaders of the conservative VVD, the Christian Democrats and the Freedom Party for a Rutte-Verhagen coalition.
Labour Party leader Job Cohen thinks the cuts will hit people who are less well off, while not affecting the better off. He says cuts in child care and health insurance rebates will hit a lot of people.
Socialist Party leader Emile Roemer and Democrat D66 leader Alexander Pechtold fear the new cabinet supported by the Freedom Party will increase divisions in society. They say the gap between the rich and the poor, the healthy and the sick will widen.
Green Left leader Femke Halsema points out that the new cabinet’s plans focus on repression and reducing immigration, while the country is facing the worst economic crisis of the last 80 years. She is not impressed by the proposed cuts in government bureaucracy.
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold calls it a “stagnation agreement”, which does nothing to put the economy back on track. He complained that education is to be cut, the housing market will remain stagnant, sustainability is only mentioned briefly. While the budget deficit is increasing, Mr Pechtold says, “The future of our young people is under pressure and the cabinet is risking a conflict between the generations.”
André Rouvoet, leader of the Christian Union - coalition partner in the outgoing cabinet - thinks some of the proposed measures concerning immigration will not be feasible.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide