Just two hours after the official white smoke text message, the door of the Logement, an annex to the House of Representatives, opens at the Plein. The negotiators first ate together. Sukade, salmon, Brussels sprouts, chicory and strawberries with cream were on the menu, a source knows how to report. After that, the party leaders of VVD, D66, CDA and ChristenUnie come out one by one. Somewhat tired, but satisfied, they speak separately to the press for the stairs of the 18th-century building.
“A nice and balanced accord,” says D66 leader Kaag and Segers of the Christian Union (CU) is “relieved that it is on it”. Rutte just says it‘s a “good deal”. Only Hoekstra from the CDA knows how to describe the formation process pointfully. “I’m glad we‘re out. It took a long time. It had something of a tang redemption.”
See what the party leaders say about the agreement here:
The four parties have broken records. It is 271 days after the House of Representatives elections and therefore the longest formation ever. It has not happened before in parliamentary history that parties publicly made each other such hard and personal reproaches and still want to continue together in one cabinet.
The breach of trust between the parties has been reasonably restored in the ten weeks of negotiations. While talking about the approach to the major issues, such as climate, housing shortage and nitrogen, the noses of Rutte, Hoekstra, Kaag and Segers turned out to be quite the same way, except for some fundamental issues, of course, such as migration, medical-ethical issues and the mortgage interest deduction.
But bridges are also found there, according to the words of the negotiators now. “I’m satisfied with it,” says Hoekstra. Medical-ethical issues have been firmly debated, Segers acknowledges his disagreement with D66 in this area, in particular. “It‘s nice to know where the other person’s heart beats”. He just doesn‘t want to say anything about the recorded agreements. “It’s up to the group now,” say the four parties in unison.
On Tuesday, the MPs of the intended coalition parties will examine the text, can make changes and then it is really finished.
Informers Johan Remkes of the VVD and Wouter Koolmees of D66 actually wanted to make a thin coalition agreement as an experiment, but Koolmees said after exiting “that a little more agreements have been made.” Segers: “It is thinner than the previous agreement” of the four parties. The current coalition agreement “Trust in the Future” is 70 pages thick. This still secret document will be about 50 pages, a Hague source estimates.
Wednesday afternoon, almost nine months after the House of Representatives elections, is the presentation. Then the title, motto and number of pages will be really public. Thursday or Friday is a debate and then the fifteen political groups of the opposition will give their opinion.