Dutch Labour leader says no deals with cabinet

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Diederik Samsom wants to call general elections immediately if the cabinet falls. He also says he would not do business with an outgoing Rutte cabinet before new elections.

The Dutch Labour Party leader's remarks were made in an interview focussing on the possible collapse of the ongoing cabinet talks on reducing the 2013 budget deficit to within the European Union limit. Mr Samsom is convinced that, if elections were held soon, a new parliament could be sworn in before summer, leaving enough time to negotiate a new budget for 2013.

He said he would not work together with an outgoing cabinet: “Our options would be very limited and we could pass only a few measures.”

Voters’ mandate If the cabinet falls, the new Labour leader would want to end the ongoing talks on extra government cutbacks. “Such talks are best held with an electoral mandate,” Mr Samsom said.

He said he was not arguing for early elections out of self interest. “We are not doing too well in the polls,” he admitted. Samsom is convinced that the cabinet will fall soon. “I have completely lost faith in it. It was always a wobbly cabinet, but now it’s really about to happen.”

Economic breakthrough Alexander Pechtold of the democrat party D66 disagrees, saying it would be unrealistic to think general elections could be held before summer. He believes elections could not be held before October, which he says would be too late to make new budgetary plans for 2013. He argues that it is up to parliament to reach agreement on budget cuts and economic reform should the cabinet fall.

"If the cabinet fails to reduce the budget deficit and revive the economy by implementing reforms, parliament must take the initiative for a reform agreement. It is time for an economic breakthrough in Dutch politics.”

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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