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Dutch PM resigns over austerity measures row

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Cabinet of the Netherlands has offered to resign in a political crisis over austerity measures.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte offered his coalition government’s resignation to Queen Beatrix on Monday after its parliamentary partnership with the ultra-right Freedom Party collapsed over budget cuts.

The Freedom Party led by the anti-EU and anti-immigration politician, Geert Wilders, had been supporting Rutte’s government for the past 18 months.

It is feared that the political turmoil in the Netherlands, which strongly supported fiscal discipline among EU countries, will affect efforts to deal with the bloc’s debt problems.

The Netherlands is one of only a few eurozone countries including Germany to still retain the highest credit rating.

Rutte is expected to call snap general elections on Tuesday. The elections are expected to be held as soon as late June.

The governments of European countries are facing difficulties in the wake of the debt crisis.

French President Nicholas Sarkozy came in second in the presidential election on Sunday and will contest a runoff election with Francois Hollande of the largest opposition group, the Socialist Party, next month.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012