Noises are getting louder that the current minority VVD-Christian Democrat which is propped up by Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) might be swayed to dump the obstinate PVV in favour of support from the so-called Kunduz coalition. The Kunduz coalition is the Democrats 66, Green Left and Christian Union.
A recent tweet by Geert Wilders may have riled the coalition partners slightly too much. In his tweet, he said he would only support extra cuts on top of the already planned 18 billion euros if the development cooperation budget was cut by 4 billion (out of a budget of 4.4 billion euros). Deputy PM Maxime Verhagen dismissed the tweet as nothing new. But the Christian Democrats had only recently supported an opposition motion to maintain this budget at 0.7 percent GNP. On top of this Geert Wilders ordered an investigation into the costs of returning to the guilder while the coalition is commited to the euro.
Apparently the Kunduz three let the coalition know months ago that they were prepared to support the government in lieu of the PVV. But the reports started coming out into the open in the past week, so the chances the PVV may be dropped by the coalition as a parliamentary support partner must be increasing.
This means Rutte’s cabinet which has been in office for 13 months, could stay in power without an election.
In effect, the cabinet can only rely on PVV support for internal issues. The anti-immigration party opposes the government on just about every foreign policy issue, be it the police training mission in Kunduz or financial packages to help Greece see its way out of the euro crisis. Now it seems the almost half the public do not think the current coalition will stay full term in office.
But if there is a change of the guard in The Hague, Prime Minister Rutte will have to make concessions. In particular he may have to change his position on mortgage tax relief which up to now has been unnegotiable.