Negotiators are on the brink of finalising a coalition agreement for a new Dutch cabinet. The deal between the conservative VVD and Christian Democrats should be in place within the next 48 hours, according to sources in The Hague. At the same time the two parties will sign a separate agreement with the far-right Freedom Party, on which the new cabinet will rely for its majority in parliament.
If the agreements are ready within the next two days, they can be put to a special Christian Democrat (CDA) congress for approval as early as Saturday. All eyes will then be on the CDA, as many in the party have expressed grave concerns about the cooperation with Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam Freedom Party. Christian Democrat leader Maxime Verhagen has faced broadsides from a string of party elder statesmen, and two dissident CDA MPs threaten the coalition’s flimsy one-seat majority. To complicate matters further, on Saturday Mr Wilders will be giving an anti-Islam speech in Berlin.
Meanwhile, via Expatica.com: Christian Democrat rift widening over PVV.