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Dutch parties form coalition, pledging to cut budget

Dutch parties form coalition, pledging to cut budget

The Dutch Liberal and Labor parties reached an agreement to form a government, pledging to revamp the housing and labor markets and cut the budget by about 16 billion euros ($20.6 billion) in the next four years.

“This package will affect everyone,” caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte told journalists in The Hague Monday as he announced the deal with Labor. “Economic growth is on a structurally lower level in the Netherlands and we can’t pass on the bill to future generations.”

Rutte and Labor leader Diederik Samsom agreed to cut tax rebates on mortgages by 0.5 percentage point annually until 2040 and allow rent for people who have an income of more than 43,000 euros to go up. Development aid will be cut by 1 billion euros and health-care premiums will become dependent on income.

The Liberals, known as the VVD, and Labor, the two largest parties in Parliament after the Sept. 12 elections, started negotiations on the formation of a new government nine days after the vote. It will be the first time in Dutch political history the two parties have formed an administration on their own.

“We felt the same urgency as the crisis is still raging, it’s not over yet,” Samsom said. “We were both willing to do something about it and we succeeded.”

The government takes office as Europe faces crucial negotiations on Greece and the European Union’s budget. Rutte said he’s awaiting a report on Greece’s progress in meeting internationally agreed targets compiled by the troika of the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the ECB. Samsom said more aid for Greece will depend on whether “Greece will take its responsibility in the right manner.”

(Bloomberg)


Updated : 2021-07-28 03:08 GMT+08:00