Rutte: minority cabinet only option

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The prospective head of the proposed right-wing minority government, Mark Rutte, says he "is no longer available" for talks about any alternative coalition.

Speaking in the populist newspaper De Telegraaf, he slammed Labour Party leader Job Cohen for "crying crocodile tears" about the proposed right-wing cabinet of the conservative VVD and the centre-right Christian Democrats which would also have the support of Geert Wilders' far right Freedom Party.

Cohen, he said, was the "midwife of the minority cabinet" since he had blocked a centrist cabinet with the VVD, Christian Democrats and Labour and also objected to the "purple plus" option with the VVD, Labour, Democrats and Green Left.

Meanwhile, a number of Christian Democrats are unhappy about the plans for a minority cabinet. According to the newspaper AD, former party chairman and Social Affairs minister Bert de Vries is considering resigning from the party.

Top Christian Democrat administrator Doekle Terpstra criticised the proposal to rule with the support of the Freedom Party as giving the anti-Islam party "a gram of responsibility and a kilogram of power".

He said chief negotiator Ruud Lubbers should have pressed for a majority coalition "as he was ordered by the queen" and also criticised the Labour Party which he described as "a comatose roosting chicken", and said it was time it accepted its responsibilities and supported what he called "the Orange coalition" of VVD, Christian Democrats and Labour.


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