PvdA threatens crisis in coalition

27th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

27 September 2007, THE HAGUE – The labour PvdA government members are threatening to resign from the cabinet if Social Affairs Minister Piet Hein Donner (Christian democrat CDA) persists in his plans to relax redundancy legislation. Deputy prime minister Wouter Bos (PvdA) said this in the cabinet meeting last Friday, according to insiders. This has brought the conflict between the two largest coalition parties to a head, the Volkskrant reports.

27 September 2007

THE HAGUE – The labour PvdA government members are threatening to resign from the cabinet if Social Affairs Minister Piet Hein Donner (Christian democrat CDA) persists in his plans to relax redundancy legislation. Deputy prime minister Wouter Bos (PvdA) said this in the cabinet meeting last Friday, according to insiders. This has brought the conflict between the two largest coalition parties to a head, the Volkskrant reports.

The PvdA feels it has given in to CDA demands more than enough recently. On Tuesday the PvdA faction in Parliament decided not to pursue a referendum on the new European treaty, just as PvdA ministers did last week. This decision – welcomed by the Christian democrats – has not been well received by PvdA voters. PvdA MPs have received hundreds of angry emails calling them "traitors" and "deceivers of the public."

The cabinet is expected to approve a renewal of the military mission in Uruzgan soon. This issue too is a sensitive one among PvdA members and voters.

After these "investments in the cabinet," as it is referred to in PvdA circles, the social democrats think it is high time for a clear success to boost their credibility. The PvdA faction has been demanding for some time that protection against dismissal not be tampered with. In the cabinet meeting last Friday Bos told Donner that he may only come with a proposal that the PvdA faction can approve. That means that the preventative redundancy review by a district judge – a requirement Donner wants to scrap – must remain in place. If this demand is not honoured, the PvdA will resign from the cabinet.

Donner reportedly was outraged at the threat. The CDA minister pointed out that the PvdA government members had already approved a request for recommendations from unions and employers earlier. That included a concrete plan: redundancy compensation would be capped at EUR 100,000 and the procedure via the district judge would disappear.

The fact that the ministers agreed to a request for recommendations does not however mean that they agreed with the measures proposed, the PvdA said. Donner is trying to push his plan "through a backdoor", the PvdA says. The PvdA ministers did acknowledge that the plans also contain some elements they do agree with.

The CDA has not taken Bos's intervention as a direct threat to the coalition. The Christian democrats assume they will be able to bring the PvdA round with a few changes to the plans. Donner will present a proposal in a few months' time. CDA politicians dismiss the suggestion that they get their will more often than the other coalition partners. They point out that the budget presented on Prinsjesdag was hailed as a "left-wing budget" by friend and foe alike.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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