BBB frontwoman Caroline van der Plas does not think the cabinet will make it to the end of the year. She senses some willingness in the government parties VVD and CDA to move along with her in the nitrogen dossier, but she expects D66 to ‘keep a firm foot’.
Van der Plas spoke for more than an hour with Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Tuesday. She does not expect the cabinet to come to a solution, because ‘D66 is keeping its leg stiff’ and ‘CDA really needs to do something with this election result’. “I expect that the situation will simply become unsustainable within the coalition and that new elections will be held before the end of the year,” says van der Plas.
She does not want to say what exactly he said during that meeting. But the fact that he took so long, according to her, indicates that he takes her monster victory at the provincial elections last week seriously. “I have the feeling that Rutte did listen. We’ll see if he heard what I said.”
Hug to death
The two met in restaurant ‘De Landbouw’ in Wassenaar. According to Caroline van der Plas it was a ‘friendly conversation’ and ‘it went pretty well’. Rutte called it ‘good’ and ‘nice’. When asked how she is doing now that the hugging of Prime Minister Mark Rutte has started, she resolutely replies: “I will certainly not let myself be hugged to death.”
Van der Plas does not expect Rutte to adjust the cabinet policy ‘on the spur of the moment’. “I do hope that the seed has been planted and will grow a bit.” At the same time, Van der Plas hints that it was not easy for her message about the dissatisfaction and mistrust in society to get through to the prime minister. “I had to talk about that crisis of confidence two or three times,” she sighs. “Whether they do something with it is up to them, but I think it’s wise.”
A follow-up appointment between Rutte and Van der Plas has not yet been made, but she has indicated that she wants to keep in touch. ,,The time of ignoring and keeping BBB small is over. We have become a serious discussion partner.” But: “Words are nice, but actions count,” emphasizes Van der Plas.
Van der Plas would now also like to sit down with Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans. She would like to hear from him whether Brussels really offers as little room in the nitrogen dossier as the cabinet keeps telling the House of Representatives. “I want to see what is possible.”
In her view, the cabinet can make an emergency law on nitrogen policy ‘because the country is completely locked down socio-economically and socially’. According to Van der Plas, this is not a question of not being able to, but of not wanting to.
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