Wilders demands to see Cabinet's 'crib notes'
12 May 2005AMSTERDAM — Independent MP Geert Wilders has demanded that parliament gets to see secret briefing notes prepared for ministers to help them convince the Dutch public to vote in favour of the EU Constitution.
12 May 2005
AMSTERDAM — Independent MP Geert Wilders has demanded that parliament gets to see secret briefing notes prepared for ministers to help them convince the Dutch public to vote in favour of the EU Constitution.
Wilders, who opposes the EU Constitution, was reacting to a report in newspaper 'De Volkskrant' on Thursday that reported 39 classified cards had been given to ministers. Wilders says he wants to examine the notes to see if they contain "untruths".
Described by the paper as "crib notes", the cards contain vital information for ministers to recite when talking about the Constitution in the run up to the referendum on 1 June.
Recent opinion polls suggesting that the public could reject the document have stung the government into playing a more active roll in the "yes" campaign.
Of the 11 political groups represented int he Dutch parliament, the three government coalition parties — the Christian Democrats (CDS), the Liberals (VVD) and the Democrats (D66) — and the main opposition party, Labour (PvdA), support a "yes" vote in favour of the European Constitution.
The four parties have 119 seats in the 150-seat parliament. The five other opposition parties and Wilders oppose the Constitution. The position of independent MP Ali Lazrak is unclear.
A spokesperson for Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende (CDA) confirmed the existence of the notes and said they outline the Cabinet's "core messages" on the Constitution. "The ministers would be rightly reproached if their mutual communications did not gel with each other," the spokesperson said.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news