Dutch Liberal and Labour parties agree to coalition
ReutersTHE HAGUE--Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's Liberal Party and the Labour Party have agreed a coalition deal, the parties said on Monday, paving the way for a pro-austerity, pro-European government to be sworn in as early as next week.
October 30, 2012, 12:13 am TWN
Rutte won the most seats in the Sept. 12 parliamentary election, which was held against the backdrop of the eurozone crisis, rising unemployment, lower housing prices and a stagnant economy.
The two party leaders have reached a deal far faster than expected, underlying the urgent need to form a government given the European crisis and fragile state of the Dutch economy.
Labour needs support from its members at a party conference set for Nov. 3 for the deal to be finalized. The agreement includes plans to cut state spending by a further 16 billion euros (US$21 billion) in the next four years, aiming to all but eliminate the budget deficit by 2017, newspapers reported last week.