Amsterdam, Netherlands. Over run with massive amounts of middle eastern migrants and caught up in the Brexit debate, the Netherlands has had a difficult time creating a functional government.
Major differences over migrants invading have ended attempts to form a four-party coalition government in The Netherlands, after more than eight weeks of negotiations, a top official said today.
“We have tried everything to narrow the gaps, and they have become smaller… but we just couldn’t succeed,” Dutch politician Edith Schippers told reporters.
Schippers had been leading efforts to forge a common agenda between outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s Liberal Party (VVD) and three other groups.
The VVD, which won 33 MPs in March elections, has been in talks with the conservative Christian Democratic Appel (CDA) and the progressive Democracy Party (D66), which both won 19 seats.
From the beginning, doubts were raised about whether the Klaver faction would be prepared to make the necessary compromises, especially those demanded by the CDA. Rutte described the failed talks as “a pity,” adding: “We wanted them to be successful, but we didn’t succeed. We decided together that it just wouldn’t work.”
Immigration proved the main stumbling block, Rutte said, adding there had also been differences over climate change and income levels. Asked about the specific reasons for the failure, Klaver reiterated that “we have tried compromises. Sometimes it works but this time it did not.”
If the talks would have succeeded, the new coalition would have had a total of 85 MPs, a comfortable majority when face experts say when going up against the far-right anti-Islam party of controversial MP Geert Wilders, who with 20 MPs makes up the largest party in the opposition.
Wilders crowed in a Tweet: “Very good news. No GroenLinks,” adding his Freedom Party “is fully available.”Rutte however has vowed not to work with Wilders’s anti-Islam anti-EU party on principal, even though it came second in the polls.
Putting together a ruling coalition in the Netherlands is always a difficult process, with compromise becomming more difficult as parties become more polar opposites on issues of substance like the migrant invasion of Europe, Russian sanctions and sending troops to Syria or Afghanistan as a NATO partner.