News - May 2, 2011

Christian Union in Senate keeps views under wraps

The Dutch Christian democratic political faction in the Senate is adopting a wait-and- see attitude before making its views known on the law put up by state secretary Zijstra against students who take more than the nominal time to complete their university studies. 'We are open-minded and we will make an autonomous decision', says a spokesperson.

Last week, the Christian Union voted in the Dutch Second Chamber for the law against tardy students. The fine of three thousand euros would only be imposed from September 2012. In addition, a hardship clause for sick and pregnant students has been incorporated at the request of the Christian Union. The ruling parties (Christian Democratic Appeal, and People's Party for Freedom and Democracy), as well as the Party for Freedom and the Reformed Political Party (SGP), have also agreed to the law.
In the new Senate, the cabinet may soon need to have a vote from the Christian Union, besides the vote from the SGP, to get a majority. The members of the States-Provincial will elect the Senate on 23 May.
The current Senate faction of the Christian Union says that they will let the debate take its course. Does this mean that they are uncertain as to whether to accept the law? 'If we decide ahead of time, the debate would become pointless', says the spokesperson. The decisions made by the Senate faction and the Second Chamber faction are autonomous.