Secret location of Cabinet talks a secret no longer

4th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

4 January 2007, AMSTERDAM — The 'secret' coalition formation talks between the leaders of the Christian Democrat CDA, Labour PvdA and ChristenUnie are being held on a rural estate in Friesland in the north of the country.

4 January 2007

AMSTERDAM — The 'secret' coalition formation talks between the leaders of the Christian Democrat CDA, Labour PvdA and ChristenUnie are being held on a rural estate in Friesland in the north of the country.

Party leaders Jan Peter Balkenende (CDA), Wouter Bos (PvdA) and André Rouvoet (ChristenUnie) are engaging in talks in private in a bid to build a basis of trust for a new coalition government.

The focus on building confidence is a direct result from the failure of Balkenende and Bos to get along during coalition talks in 2003. The PvdA and CDA also clashed heavily in during last year's election.

It was then revealed on Wednesday that the talks with facilitator Herman Wijffels were being held at a secret location away from media attention to create a relaxed atmosphere.

But the location was soon discovered by newspaper 'De Telegraaf': the talks are being held at the Landgoed Lauswolt estate in the Friesland town of Beetsterzwaag.

Each of the party leaders is accompanied by a party colleague. Balkenende is accompanied by CDA deputy parliamentary leader Maxime Verhagen, Bos by PvdA MP Jacques Tichelaar and Rouvoet has his ChristenUnie colleague MP Arie Slob.

The talks in Friesland will be completed on Friday and negotiations will be continued next week at the Dutch Parliament in The Hague.

The focus of this week's talks is aimed at determining the mission of the new government. Discussion on definitive policy decisions will be entered into next week.

It is hoped that a new government can be installed before the provincial elections on 7 March.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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