PM Rutte thinks Cabinet can survive election results

“I think we can get through this.” With those words, Prime Minister and VVD leader Mark Rutte left his Ministry during the early hours of Friday morning after another meeting of the Cabinet leaders. “We are still talking,” said D66 Deputy Prime Minister Sigrid Kaag, who left the Ministry of General Affairs earlier.

The Cabinet leaders met for the second time this week to discuss how to respond to the “voter’s signal” in the provincial elections two weeks ago. Rutte did not want to say afterward whether he was optimistic about the consultation.

ChristenUnie Deputy Prime Minister Carola Schouten spoke of “quite a conversation.” The coalition parties have hugely differing opinions on several important issues. On Friday, the entire team of Ministers will discuss the matter during the weekly Council of Ministers.

The Cabinet seems to be struggling with a letter it wants to send to parliament ahead of an important debate on Tuesday. Rutte said earlier this week that he wanted to make improvements on “major issues” that the government leaders think the voter is concerned about. But it is still unclear precisely what he has in mind.

Kaag left the meeting at the same time as CDA leader Wopke Hoekstra, who did not want to comment on the progress of the consultations. The D66 and CDA leaders left the Ministry before midnight, but ChristenUnie Deputy Prime Minister Schouten and her second stayed longer with Prime Minster Rutte. Minister Mark Harbers assisted the VVD leader.

Harbers and Schouten also said after the meeting that the Cabinet would continue to talk.

Reporting by ANP

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