JSF under attack from D66 in coaliton talks

3rd July 2006, Comments 0 comments

3 July 2006, AMSTERDAM — Former coalition party D66 announced on Monday it will oppose any attempt by the new government to chose the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) to replace the Dutch Air force's ageing F-16s.

3 July 2006

AMSTERDAM — Former coalition party D66 announced on Monday it will oppose any attempt by the new government to chose the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) to replace the Dutch Air force's ageing F-16s.

Talks are underway in The Hague that are likely to create Balkenende III, a minority government between the Christian Democrats (CDA) and the Liberals (VVD).

D66 withdrew support from Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's second coalition government last week in a dispute over Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk (VVD).

Lousewies van der Laan, out-going leader of D66's parliamentary party, said her party now opposed the introduction of the JSF. Now named the F-35, the plane is being built by several countries in a US-led project. Parts of the plane are built by Dutch aerospace company Stork.

The Labour Party (PvdA) is also against buying the F-35. Other options include the Typhoon Eurofighter.

Van der Laan told informateur Ruud Lubbers on Monday that her party will also oppose the building of a road link at Naarden between the A6 and A9.

Populist party LPF said that it will support a minority CDA-VVD government, but only on condition the road link is built and the second development at Rotterdam Port goes ahead.

Van der Laan said D66 had nothing against the government following through on the commitment to cut the tax burden. But she warned the social-economic agenda must not be "surrendered to the LPF".

Lubbers, a former Christian Democrat prime minister, was appointed by Queen Beatrix on Saturday to investigate the chances of success for the formation of a CDA-VVD government. The parties have a combined strength of 71 seats in parliament, five short of a majority.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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