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Dutch coalition talks break down as parties argue about migration

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Dutch coalition talks break down as parties argue about migration

Tue, 16 May 2017
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Dutch coalition talks break down as parties argue about migration

(ShareCast News) - Coalition discussions in the Netherlands have broken down after four parties could not agree a stance on migration following March's election.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his VVD party had been in talks with the D66, the Christian Democrats and the Green-Left with a view to forming a coalition in the country, but the issue of Holland's borders led to gridlock.

Rutte's party came out on top in the elections earlier this year, staving off the threat from Geert Wilders' Freedom Party, which finished in second place. The VVD favoured a strict approach towards border control, while the up-and-coming Green-Left prefer an open border policy.

Rutte told reporters that the breakdown in the coalition talks was "unfortunate".

The minister appointed to lead the talks said that it was an impossible task attempting to reach an agreement between the four parties involved.

"It simply didn't work on various issues related to migration, and this can't be solved with money alone," Edith Schippers said. "We have worked really hard but the differences are just too big."

Forming a coalition in the Netherlands has proved a significantly difficult task in the past, as the country's parliament remains fragmented and with little hope of any major party claiming a majority.

Wilders' anti-Islam Freedom Party welcomed the news of the collapse, with its leader adding that it was available for talks in any future coalition talks.