PM: good progress in coalition formation talks
19 January 2007, AMSTERDAM — Important progress has been made in coalition Cabinet talks, Christian Democrat CDA leader Jan Peter Balkenende said on Friday after three days of meetings in Hilversum.
19 January 2007
AMSTERDAM — Important progress has been made in coalition Cabinet talks, Christian Democrat CDA leader Jan Peter Balkenende said on Friday after three days of meetings in Hilversum.
"We have booked considerable success," Balkenende said.
The prime minister met with Labour PvdA leader Wouter Bos and ChristenUnie leader André Rouvoet over the past three days with the facilitator of the talks, informateur Herman Wijffels.
The three party leaders were accompanied by their deputies, Maxime Verhagen (CDA), Jacques Tichelaar (PvdA) and Arie Slob (ChristenUnie).
Bos said the three leaders had discussed almost every issue. "There are enormous advances made. There are really a number of issues over which we have reached an agreement," he said.
The three party leaders stressed the good atmosphere in which the coalition talks are being held and that they are making good progress.
Balkenende, Bos and Rouvoet will resume negotiations in the prime minister's office, the Catshuis, in The Hague on Monday.
From Wednesday, the three leaders will then take leave of the parliamentary capital and resume talks from a confidential location elsewhere in the country.
They will then start talks on the more contentious issues over which they have not yet come to an agreement on.
Some observers suggest that this is when the talks will enter the most difficult stage: a time of decisions, with each party determined to win policy points.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news