Insults fly in Rotterdam coalition talks
17 March 2006, AMSTERDAM — The Rotterdam branch of the Labour Party (PvdA) has reacted with annoyance at the blunt refusal by Leefbaar Rotterdam (LR) to take part in talks about forming a coalition to run the port city.
17 March 2006
AMSTERDAM — The Rotterdam branch of the Labour Party (PvdA) has reacted with annoyance at the blunt refusal by Leefbaar Rotterdam (LR) to take part in talks about forming a coalition to run the port city.
LR sent talks chairman Piet Boekhoud a letter on Thursday declining an invitation to exploratory discussions.
Launching a characteristically scathing attack on Labour, LR leaders Marco Pastors and Ronald Sörensen accused the social democrats of wanting to keep the public stupid and poor, and of choosing a soft approach to Rotterdam's problems.
"We can not cooperate with a policy that will led to more beggars in the centre, more 'black' [immigrant] schools, more 'black' neighbours, more uncontrolled subsidies, the wrong people being protected, while decent people have once again to keep quiet for fear of being characterised as extreme right-wing or worse, " the pair wrote.
Local PvdA leader Peter van Heemst said LR's response was not very nice. "If you receive an invitation to come to talk you have to answer. That's what my mother always said," Van Heemst said.
He also accused LR of abandoning the interests of the 70,000 people who voted for the Leefbaar party. He blamed the Christian Democrats (CDA) and Liberals (VVD) for slowing the talks on forming a new broad-based coalition.
Labour took over from LR as the largest party in Rotterdam following the local elections on 7 March. Rotterdam has been run for the last four years by a coalition of LR, VVD and the CDA.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news