Netherlands: new old government forms after struggle

Nine months after the Dutch general elections, the four previous coalition parties in The Hague have finally settled on a new coalition agreement. The press comments bitingly on the fact that Prime Minister Mark Rutte is now embarking on his fourth term in office.

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De Telegraaf (NL) /

Sorry would be a good slogan

After all the scandals the new government should show a certain modesty, De Telegraaf advises:

“The slogan of the new coalition agreement is still shrouded in mystery. The word 'new' should not be absent, perhaps because it's also known that despite all the talk of change, much will remain the same in Rutte's fourth cabinet. Including the principle of governing according to a hard and fast coalition agreement, for example. After the record amount of time it took to form a government - in the middle of a crisis - there is now a sense of guilt in coalition circles. Albeit secretly, they found the proposal for a new cabinet slogan which made the rounds on social media not so bad at all: 'Sorry!'”

Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

The people will pay for this political stunt

The Süddeutsche Zeitung can't believe that despite all the lies and scandals "Teflon" Rutte will once again lead the Dutch government:

“Rutte smiled it all away, as he's always done in his career, with that chummy look in his eyes: 'Hey, it's me, your Mark, the man who cycles to work with an apple in his hand.' His getting away with it and managing to stay in office is one of the most amazing political stunts in recent European history. The only explanation is his party's inability to break free from Rutte's profitable power machine and the omnipresent, almost panic-stricken fear of new elections. The people will pay the price.”