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Dutch News
Ambitious new coalition agreement 2/7/2007
5 February 2007

AMSTERDAM - The new government has ambitious plans to improve disadvantaged neighbourhoods and clean up the environment. The coalition of Christian Democrat CDA, Labour PvdA and ChristenUnie also want to boost economic growth, innovation and security. Sources close to the negotiators have reported this.

The draft coalition accord reached on Friday will be presented to the party factions today.

Within 100 days the new cabinet wants to come to agreements with trade unions and employers’ organisations as well as parties in the educational sector.

The coalition agreement only outlines the financing for programmes in these areas. Actual plans will be drawn up in consultation with the parties involved.

“Many hundreds of millions” will be set aside for improving disadvantaged neighbourhoods. A new minister for Integration and Neighbourhood Improvement will make agreements with housing corporations so that they invest more in neighbourhoods that need it. Failure to do so could result in fines of up to 750 million euro.

The Netherlands should be the cleanest country in Europe by 2020. The coalition will set aside 800 million euro for this. Sectors causing excessive pollution will be subject to heavier taxes, one result of which will be hikes to airline ticket prices.

The government will also boost the lower ranks of the labour market by subsidising jobs.

Cuts to the civil service should yield 750 million euro.

The cabinet also wants more police on the streets and more preventative measures to ensure security.

The negotiators agreed to a moratorium on legislation regarding abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Current laws will remain in place but flanking policy will be introduced to reduce the instances of abortion and euthanasia.

The 48-hour procedure for asylum seekers will be extended to make sure that cases are treated with the necessary care.

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