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Parties positive on right-wing cabinet as talks enter final day
Wilders talks to the press after the talks. Photo: Robin van Lonkhuijsen ANP

The four parties involved in talks on forming a new, right-wing government in the Netherlands enter the final day of negotiations on Wednesday positive that they will be able to finalise a deal before the midnight deadline.

Geert Wilders, leader of the far-right PVV, left Tuesday’s talks at around 1 am saying that while “we still have work to do”, “I do not see things going wrong anymore.”

VVD leader Dilan Yesilgöz, who has been silent in recent days, told reporters that “you can see we all look relieved” while Caroline van der Plas, from pro-countryside party BBB, said much credit needed to be given to Wilders and “this is not going to go wrong”.

NSC leader Pieter Omtzigt was also positive, saying the four parties are a “hair’s breadth” from an agreement. “We have found the basis for an alliance and we have full confidence in it,” he said. The country “needs a new government”, he told reporters.

The talks will resume at 10 am.

No details of the agreement have yet been published and it is unclear if the parties have now reached agreement on government finances, which had proved to be a main stumbling block.

However, RTL political correspondent Fons Lambie said the four parties have agreed to stringent cuts in immigration and one source told him they have decided to halve the number of people coming to the Netherlands to work. How this would work in principle, given EU freedom of movement rules, is still unclear.

Former Labour minister Ronald Plasterk, who kick-started the negotiations on behalf of the PVV, is widely tipped for the role of prime minister in the new coalition. The leaders of the four parties have all agreed to stay in parliament and appoint ministers from both within their ranks and from outside politics as an “extra-parliamentary” cabinet.

Dutch media report that Wilders will nominate Plasterk later on Wednesday, but this has not been confirmed. His appointment would have to be approved by the three other parties.

If a deal is signed, work will then start on finding ministers and parliament will debate the agreement next week.

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