Dutch parties ready to begin coalition talks proper
The coalition-forming process in the Netherlands has reached the next phase. Advisor Herman Tjeenk Willink, the, who will lead the process of reaching policy agreements between the parties involved.
The queen's advisor has convinced four party leaders to agree to negotiations towards a "purple plus" cabinet, that's the blue of the conservative VVD combined with the red of the centre-left Labour Party plus the smaller Democrats 66 and Green Left parties.
The party leaders - Mark Rutte, Job, Cohen, Alexander Pechtold and Femke Halsema respectively - are expected to begin talks in the afternoon.
The four leaders decided on Saturday they were ready to begin talks, despite considerable differences between their parties. Two weeks ago, following meetings with the first coalition advisor Uri Rosenthal, VVD leader Mark Rutte said there was "no perspective" for this particular combination of parties. Following "various informal talks" he now believes it is worth the attempt.
A new coalition negotiator is expected to be named as soon as Mr Tjeenk Willink has reported to the queen. In his final report, Senator Rosenthal recommended a team of two negotiators, one from the VVD and one from Labour, to lead the coalition talks.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide