Liberals won't work with Socialists

22nd March 2006, Comments 0 comments

22 March 2006, AMSTERDAM — The leader of the Rotterdam branch of the Liberals (VVD) has poured cold water on the notion his party might join a coalition with the Socialist Party (SP) to run the city.

22 March 2006

AMSTERDAM — The leader of the Rotterdam branch of the Liberals (VVD) has poured cold water on the notion his party might join a coalition with the Socialist Party (SP) to run the city.

"I cannot think of a single issue on which I could talk to the SP about," local VVD leader Mark Harbers said on Wednesday.

Following the local elections on 7 March, mediator Piet Boekhoud, who is in charge of forming the executive council, said this week he was aiming to create a coalition between the Labour Party (PvdA), Christian Democrats (CDA), VVD and SP.

The PvdA won 18 seats in the election and is the biggest party on the municipal council. Leefbaar Rotterdam (LR), the party headed by populist politician Pim Fortuyn in 2002, is the second largest party with 14 seats. LR leader Marco Pastors - who has led the party since Fortuyn's murder in May 2002 - ruled out a coalition with Labour during the election campaign.

A coalition requires a minimum of 23 seats to have a majority on the 45-seat municipal council. The CDA, VVD and SP each have three seats, while the green-left GroenLinks has two. Labour would three of the parties to have a comfortable majority in the chamber.

The VVD's Harbers said he would make clear to Boekhoud when he meets him on Thursday that cooperation with the SP is out of the question.

The Liberals and the Socialists disagree on just about every important issue in Rotterdam.

The SP, for instance, opposes the construction of the Tweede Maasvlakte, the second phase of the major development of the city's Euro port.  The Socialists are also against allowing the city's publicly-owned transport company RET to become self-governing. The VVD consider both to be vital for Rotterdam.

The Liberals want Boekhoud to direct his energies to building a coalition between PvdA, SP and GroenLinks.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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