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Dutch PM Rutte to tender resignation

23 April 2012, 14:01

The Hague - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is to tender his cabinet's resignation to Queen Beatrix after the collapse of talks on austerity measures, Dutch media reported on Monday.

Rutte would present his resignation to the monarch at a meeting at the palace later in the day, ANP said.

"The Prime Minister will meet her Majesty the Queen during their weekly discussions to inform her over the current political situation," the government's information service (RVD) said in a statement earlier.

Rutte's government faced its biggest crisis on Monday as an agreement, reached barely 18-months ago between his liberal Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and junior partner, Verhagen's Christian Democrats (CDA) with the far-right party of anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders, lay on the rocks.

The ruling VVD-CDA coalition and its far-right parliamentary ally had launched make-or-break talks on the contentious issue of austerity measures on 5 March.

The talks aimed at cutting €16bn off the budget, which sat at 4.7% of gross domestic product for 2011 and steer Europe's fifth-largest economy back into back within EU deficit targets.

But Wilders quit the talks and shortly afterwards Rutte announced its failure, saying new elections were likely.



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