Source Pravda.Ru

Negotiators put finishing touches to new Dutch government plan

Negotiators were putting the finishing touches Tuesday to a policy blueprint for a new centrist Dutch coalition that is expected to put the brakes on the deportation of thousands of illegal immigrants and leave the country's controversial drug and euthanasia policies in place.

In key foreign policy decisions, the country will continue to participate in the NATO mission in Afghanistan the Dutch have 2,000 troops in the volatile southern province of Uruzgan and in the development of the U.S.-led Joint Strike Fighter jet, although no decision has been made on whether to order any of the planes.

The 50-page government accord between Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's Christian Democrats, Labor and the Christian-values party ChristenUnie has not been published, but a draft was studied Monday by the parties' lawmakers and extensively leaked.

"We see a lot of positives in the accord," Labor leader Wouter Bos said after discussing the plans with his party. "And there are a few things we think can be better."

Balkenende, who said his party was enthusiastic about the plans, met early Tuesday with Bos and ChristenUnie's Andre Rouvoet to settle minor changes to the document. Also attending was Queen Beatrix's representative who has been overseeing coalition talks since shortly after Nov. 22 elections.

The election signaled a shift to the left in Dutch politics after more than four years of right-leaning government led by Balkenende and the free-market Liberals, reports AP.

The plan grants refuge to 32,000 rejected asylum seekers who came to the country before April 2001 and remained illegally signaling a softening in one of Europe's most aggressive anti-immigration policies.

After the policy plan is published possibly later Tuesday it will be sent to the Second Chamber, or parliament, for debate.

According to leaked details, the agreement specifies no rollback of Dutch policies on drugs, prostitution, gay marriage and euthanasia, which are deeply opposed by the ChristenUnie but supported by a majority of parliament.

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