Queen Beatrix to hold new round of coalition consultations

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It has been announced that Dutch head of state Queen Beatrix will hold fresh meetings early next week to discuss how coalition talks should proceed.

On Friday, attempts by the right-wing VVD and the Christian Democrats (CDA) to form a minority cabinet with the support of Geert Wilders' far-right Freedom Party (PVV) ended in failure.

On Monday morning Queen Beatrix will first receive her permanent advisers: Senate Speaker René van der Linden, Lower House Speaker Gerdi Verbeet and the Vice-President of the Council of State, Herman Tjeenk Willink.

On Monday evening the Queen will meet with the parliamentary party leaders of the VVD, Labour and the Christian Democrats.

On Tuesday morning she will have discussions with the parliamentary party leaders of the Socialist Party, the democrats of D66, the Green Left, the Christian Union, the conservative Calvinist SGP party and the Animal Rights Party.

Foreign media
The latest breakdown of the protracted coalition talks has attracted widespread interest in foreign media.

Austrian newspaper Krone, commenting on the ongoing coalition talks in the Netherlands and Belgium, speaks of "chaos in the West". Swiss daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) voices concern over "three months of paralysis following parliamentary elections in the Netherlands".

Geert Wilders
The NZZ says the breakdown was caused by the growing "abhorrence among Christian Democrats of Islam-hater Geert Wilders". On Friday, the populist politician withdrew his support for a minority cabinet comprising the conservative VVD and the Christian Democrats. The Swiss paper sees no way forward.

News in Belgium is dominated by its own coalition woes. But the Belang van Limburg finds consolation in the fact that Holland seems mired in its own morass. De Standaard concludes that "Mr Wilders demanded the impossible". The francophone La Libre Belgique tersely notes that the "formation of a liberal-conservative minority cabinet supported by the far-right has failed in the Netherlands."

Mark Rutte
Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports that negotiations were broken off by the "right-populist Geert Wilders". The paper comments that the "right-liberal Mark Rutte" now intends to write the government programme on his own and only then look for coalition partners.

Britain's Financial Times writes that Mr Wilders ended the talks in response to the growing unease among the Christian Democrats. It quotes at length from the letter written by "Christian Democrat intellectual" Ab Klink, which, it argues, marked the beginning of the end. 

French media cover in detail the breakdown of Belgium's coalition talks but make no mention of similar troubles north of Brussels.


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