Greens tell cabinet to get a grip on itself

23rd January 2006, Comments 0 comments

23 January 2006, AMSTERDAM — The opposition green-left party Groenlinks (GL) announced on Monday it wants to agree a contract with the government to commit it to behaving normally.

23 January 2006

AMSTERDAM — The opposition green-left party Groenlinks (GL) announced on Monday it wants to agree a contract with the government to commit it to behaving normally.

GL leader Femke Halsema said ministers had to stop "flying ridiculous kites" - unveiling radical plans to see if they are acceptable to the public.

She was responding to an interview Government Reform Minister Alexander Pechtold gave to magazine 'Opzij'. Pechtold, who has positioned himself as an outsider in the cabinet, described politics in The Hague as "vuil en vunzig" (dirty and musty).

Halsema was particularly critical of the tendency among government ministry to constantly announce radical new initiatives.

The latest include a code of conduct to compel everyone in the Netherlands to adhere to 'Dutch norms and values' and to always speak Dutch in public; making young unemployed people undergo six months of military-style training; and banning the wearing of the burka.

The discussion about glorification of violence, wearing the burka, or smoking cannabis in public only served to distract attention from more important issues, she said.

Halsema called on the government, instead, to address the high unemployment level among non-native Dutch residents.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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