SP disappointed in Balkenende IV government

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SP leader Jan Marijnissen says Balkenende's fourth government is "one big disappointment."

14 February 2008

THE HAGUE – SP leader Jan Marijnissen says Balkenende's fourth government is "one big disappointment." In an interview with Het Financieele Dagblad on Thursday the faction leader of the largest opposition party in Parliament slammed the cabinet, saying: "First a hundred days of school holiday, which resulted in nothing. And now it is once again deafeningly silent."

But Marijnissen says his own party too needed a year for "internal deliberation" after its major victory in the last elections. He points out that 17 of the 25 SP MPs were new and had to find their place. Moreover the opposition leader says it is "unfair to submit a motion of no confidence against the government on day one. We were good, but that courtesy is fading."

The SP faction leader announced his party will be taking a new course that will make it more talked about and more visible. "We are going to give the tree a good shake. Recess is over."

Marijnissen says he cannot name a single area in which the current government has achieved anything. Minister for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Integration Ella Vogelaar, for instance, has created a "series of misunderstandings," and Finance Minister Wouter Bos has done "virtually nothing about high incomes." The SP leader says Minister Piet Hein Donner has been a "disaster" for Social Affairs.

Only PvdA Minister for the Environment Jacqueline Cramer is pursuing a significantly different policy from her predecessor. Beyond that the PvdA is pursuing the exact same policy as the previous cabinets, the SP leader says. "The PvdA has proved interchangeable with the VVD. They haven't reversed anything."

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2008]

Subject: Dutch news

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