Dutch coalition talks focus on law and order

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Talks in the Netherlands' political capital of The Hague, which began after the 9 June general elections in order to form a majority government, are continuing.

Local observers say that Tuesday's meeting of the four parties involved will probably concentrate on justice and public order topics. The four party leaders arrived at the Senate offices accompanied by their respective domestic and justice affairs specialists.

At their first press conference the two senior politicians leading the talks said the four parties had made good progress and discussed substantial issues. The talks are complicated because the largest party, conservative free-market VVD has to find common ground with three centre-left parties. The four broadly agree on matters like individual freedoms and the need to increase employment, but differ widely about the urgency of drastic and immediate cuts to balance the national budget.

The aimed-for coalition will command support of an 81-seat majority in the 150-seat Lower House. The centre-right VVD is trying to form a government with Labour, reformist democrats D66 and Green Left.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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