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Christian Party Leader Boycotting Every Climate Tax Plan, Frustrating Dutch Govt Formation

NL Times

The Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) is causing annoyance at the government formation negotiation table because party leader Sybrand Buma is saying ‘no’ to almost every proposed climate measure, sources around the negotiations told newspaper AD.

According to the newspaper, the negotiations between the VVD, D66, GroenLinks and CDA are particularly difficult on climate policy, largely due to Buma’s attitude. He is refusing to discuss any form of climate measure that affects citizens’ wallet. This includes things like the ‘green’ taxes GroenLinks proposed – meat tax, packaging tax and higher taxes on driving and air travel.

VVD leader Mark Rutte on the other hand, is surprisingly willing to make compromises and commitments in this area, the sources say. While the right-wing part of the VVD is particularly skeptical about forming a government with GroenLinks, Rutte is being “pragmatic” on the negotiation table in the hopes of reaching a ruling agreement, according to AD. “Rutte wants to make deals, but Buma is constantly difficult. As a result, Rutte is shifting towards the more ‘green’ parties”, the newspaper quotes an unnamed source.

Former prominent CDA member Herman Wijffels called on Buma to change his strategy. In an interview with AD he said that he also heard that Buma is blocking progress on climate policy. “That man gives absolutely nothing on the sustainability issue. If that remains the case, the CDA should just go to the opposition”, he said.

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