Dutch parties agree on govt coalition after 208 days of talks

After 208 days of negotiations, the leaders of four Dutch parties agreed Monday on a draft program for a new center-right coalition government under Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The agreement will likely push policies further to the right, AP said. Centrist D66 leader Alexander Pechtold said that after years of austerity, the new government will reward voters with lower taxes. “We are coming out of crisis,” Pechtold said. The March 15 election gave the coalition a narrow one-seat majority in the 150-seat lower house of parliament and ended Rutte’s alliance with the center-left Labor Party.