Dutch hope deal will advance reform agenda
11 October 2005
AMSTERDAM — Dutch Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm has welcomed the coalition deal between the Socialists and Christian Democrats in Germany.
Speaking after a meeting of European finance ministers in Luxembourg, Zalm said he hoped the deal between the unlikely bedfellows will lead to a “decisive and sound policy that will drive forward reforms” in Germany.
“I am also delighted that a fully-fledged government will soon be in place once more,” Zalm said.
German Christian Democrat leader Angela Merkel is to head the new coalition government in Berlin. Having won only a small majority in September’s election, Merkel will have to govern in a grand coalition with Gerhard Schroeder’s SPD as junior partner.
Schroeder has dropped his insistence – maintained in the days after the election – that he would stay on as chancellor.
“By my assessment, I am looking at an optimistic scenario whereby I hope the combination of the two biggest parties will lead to tackling of the problems,” Zalm said.
“You can also be pessimistic and worry that there will be so many disagreements that nothing will come of it. Let us remain optimistic in that regard for the time being.”
[Copyright Expatica News and ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news