Left-wing executive looms in Amsterdam
16 March 2006, AMSTERDAM — Labour Party (PvdA) has opened talks with the green-left party Groenlinks about forming a new executive council for the Dutch capital.
16 March 2006
AMSTERDAM — Labour Party (PvdA) has opened talks with the green-left party Groenlinks about forming a new executive council for the Dutch capital.
Lodewijk Asscher, the leader of the PvdA in Amsterdam, announced the decision during the first meeting of the new city council since the local elections on 7 March.
If the talks between Labour and GroenLinks bear fruit, the Liberal Party (VVD) will be left out of the coalition running the city for the first time in 16 years.
The PvdA's preference was for a "left-wing executive with a Liberal edge" but GroenLinks blocked the idea, closing the door on further discussions with the Liberals, Asscher said.
GroenLinks leader Maarten van Poelgeest said a "broad executive leaning to the right" would not do justice to the election result.
There are 45 seats on Amsterdam City Council and for the last four years the city has been run by a coalition made up of Labour (15 seats), VVD (9) and Christian Democrats (CDA) (4).
Labour won a historic victory on 7 March, increasing its number of seats to 20. The VVD and CDA each lost a seat. GroenLinks held on to its six seats and the Socialist Party (SP) increased its tally from four to six.
Asscher moved quickly to rule out forming a coalition with the SP, saying there was too much policy differences between the two.
Amsterdam's VVD leader Laetitia Griffith said she was disappointed about being excluded from the coalition talks. "I am worried about the future of Amsterdam," she said. Addressing the Labour leader directly, she added "if there is something I can do, Mr Asscher, I am really to help."
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news