Dutch coalition talks break down

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The Dutch coalition talks between the free market liberals the VVD and the Christian Democrats with the support of the Freedom Party have broken down. At a press conference, Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders said, "There was no guarantee that there would have been a majority of 76 seats" because of the three dissidents in the Christian Democrat faction. The VVD were prepared to continue formation negotiations.

The news comes a day and a half after the Christian Democrats reached agreement to continue the negotiations, in spite of three members of the party faction having serious reservations about joining a coalition supported by the Freedom Party.

The matter came to a head when Christian Democrat co-negotiator Ab Klink wrote to the faction stating his opposition. As a result of the letter, the coalition formation was suspended while the Christian Democrats spent two days in heated discussions.

Eventually Ab Klink was replaced as negotiator, and the party faction agreed to allow the negotiations to take their course. 

However, after Christian Democrat leader Maxime Verhagen met with the leaders of the VVD, Mark Rutte and the Freedom Party Geert Wilders on Wednesday, the latter said they needed time to think.

Critics feared a minority coalition with support from the Freedom Party would be instable. 

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide 

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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