Zalm quits politics after VVD election loss

27th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

27 November 2006, AMSTERDAM — Liberal VVD Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm will quitting politics following his party's defeat at the national elections last week.

27 November 2006

AMSTERDAM — Liberal VVD Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm will quitting politics following his party's defeat at the national elections last week.

"It is very drastic, because I am a real finance man," Zalm, 54, said on the Buitenhof television program on Sunday. "Leaving the ministry will be harder than leaving politics."

Zalm, the longest-serving Dutch finance minister, said he plans to find a job in the corporate sector.

The VVD won just 22 seats last week, down from its 28 at the 2003 elections. Its coalition government partner, the Christian Democrat CDA, remained the largest party with 41 seats.

Zalm denied his decision was due to the election results, stressing that he had decided to quit before the contest. He will remain as finance minister until a new government is appointed.

The Dutch economy is expected to grow 3.25 percent this year, the most since 2000. In 2007, growth of 3 percent is expected.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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