Talks over Dutch coalition cabinet continue
Party leaders in the Netherlands are continuing their exploration of a possible coalition on Tuesday. Four party leaders will be talking to negotiator Senator Uri Rosenthal to examine whether a so-called "Purple plus" coalition is viable, consisting of "blue" free-market liberal VVD, "red" Labour plus two smaller parties, centrist liberal D66 and Green Left.
After the official talks on Monday evening, reporters spotted informal bilateral meetings going on between several party leaders. Election winner Mark Rutte, leader of the VVD, is sceptical. His would be the only centre-right party in a left-dominated coalition. The leader of D66, Alexander Pechtold, was seen on Monday evening having separate meetings with Mr Rutte and with Labour leader Job Cohen, possibly in an attempt to build bridges between the two. They differ about the urgency of deep financial cuts to repair the national budget. None of them, however, wanted to give reporters any insight into what was discussed.
The centre-left option is being explored after an attempt to form a rightwing coalition including Geert Wilders' Freedom Party and VVD failed. These parties both gained considerably in the 9 June general election, becoming the third and the first party in the Lower House respectively.
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