TV hots up Dutch provincial election debate

17th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

There was another televised political debate on Wednesday evening in the run-up to Dutch provincial elections. The poll is important as the results will decide the make-up of the Upper House or Senate of the Dutch parliament. The minority government will run into problems if a majority in the Senate is opposed to its policies.

In the debate, Labour PvdA leader Job Cohen accused the Christian Democrats CDA, the junior partner in the governing coalition, of not spreading the cost of the economic crisis fairly. He said the present government cuts hit ordinary families while sparing the rich.

Elco Brinkman, CDA leader in the Senate, countered that people earning 50,000 to 55,000 euros a year cough up two-thirds of all Dutch tax. He said they could not be described as “the filthy rich”.

New general election? Loek Hermans for the conservative VVD, the senior coalition partner, accused Labour of wanting to put off paying the economic crisis bill. “You want to delay and let the next generation pay. That’s not fair,” he argued.

Green Left GroenLinks leader Jolande Sap said that there should be a new general election if the opposition gained a majority in the Senate after the provincial poll.

Cartoon The anti-Islam Freedom Party PVV, which has agreed to give the minority government support in parliament, refused to take part in the debate. The PVV is angry with the VARA television company because its website published a satirical cartoon of PVV leader Geert Wilders which included a reference to the Nazi gas chambers.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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