True to tradition, the Machiavelli Foundation kicked off the Dutch political year on the morning of Tuesday 6 September in the – brand new – Press Centre Nieuwspoort. Party chairs MP Attje Kuiken (PvdA – Labour) and MP Jan Paternotte (D66 – Liberal Democrats) looked ahead to the coming political year, led by Machiavelli board members Remco Meijer (Volkskrant) and Fons Lambie (RTL News). In April, Attje Kuiken took over the party leadership of the opposition party PvdA from Lilianne Ploumen. Jan Paternotte became party leader in January, when Sigrid Kaag and Rob Jetten became ministers in the Rutte IV cabinet on behalf of D66.
In her opening speech, MP Kuiken stressed the importance of taking action before the winter. Now that the energy bills are “skyrocketing”, the PvdA and GroenLinks (Greens) want to present new proposals for this year this week. MP Paternotte emphasised that the cabinet must now “get on with it” and not postpone politically sensitive choices. This requires “political courage”, according to him.
Before Christmas, MP Kuiken foresees that the cabinet will fall. She thinks that the Netherlands has entered a “national burn-out”. “Nothing is possible anymore. Listless, despondent. Short fuses, distrust. According to her, this cabinet lacks creativity. On the other hand, she does not hope for new elections and a new – long – period of coalition formation. As far as MP Paternotte is concerned, elections will not be held again until 2025, with Kaag as the list leader for D66.
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