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Dutch PM Quits After Austerity Talks Collapse

The Dutch government has resigned after failing to agree a package of austerity measures with its far-right partners.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who had been under pressure for weeks,
tendered his Cabinet's resignation to Queen Beatrix at her palace in the

The move had been widely expected since the weekend when Mr Rutte acknowledged a rift with Geert Wilders' Freedom Party.

Although not part of the ruling coalition, Wilders' party had
effectively guaranteed the government's majority for the last 18 months
by agreeing to support it in parliament.

The arrangement came to an abrupt halt on Saturday when talks on further spending cuts foundered.

Mr Rutte's liberal VVD party, its coalition partner the Christian
Democrats and Wilders' Freedom Party had been negotiating on a
near-daily basis for seven weeks when Wilders walked out of the talks.

The turmoil has raised fears that the Netherlands' triple A credit
rating could be in danger. It is one of only four eurozone countries to
retain that status among the three main credit rating agencies

The three parties had been holding almost daily discussions in a bid
to reach agreement on how to cut 16 billion euros (£13.09bn) from the
budget, which stood at 4.7% of gross domestic product for 2011.

The EU's deficit ceiling is 3% of GDP.

The talks had been in their final stages when Mr Wilders dropped his
bombshell. A visibly upset Mr Rutte said early elections, otherwise due
in May 2015, were now a strong possibility.

The austerity package at the centre of the row included a slight
raise in VAT, a freeze on civil servants' wages and a cut in spending in
both the health and development aid sectors.

"The plan is not in the interest of (Freedom Party) voters," Mr
Wilders told a press conference. "We cannot live up to the demands
Brussels is putting on us. Money is being taken from the wallets of

Mr Rutte came to power in October 2010 after the fall of the then
prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende in a dispute over continued military
support to Nato forces in Afghanistan.

Eurosceptic Mr Wilders' support had ensured Mr Rutte's coalition held
a one-seat majority in the 150-seat parliament up until March 21 when
one of its deputies resigned.

Added: Apr-24-2012 
By: gemini
Regional News
Tags: politics
Location: Netherlands (load item map)
Views: 3495 | Comments: 28 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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  • Bond yields dictate all this. Unfortunately the dumbed down by socialist tyranny Euro voters don't understand bond yields.

    Posted Apr-24-2012 By 

    (1) | Report

    • @Roll1981 Ya, Europeans are all dummied down, they idolize sports figures, watch football, eat tons of fastfood per capita and they would all have voted for Santorum if he hadn't dropped out of the race ( "whoah! we didn't see that coming" )

      Silly Europeans, If only they were edumukated and smart like us Murricans...

      Seriously, I have been living in Europe for about nine years now, and the refreshing thing about the Europeans is, they haven't started to mate with vegetables yet, li More..

      Posted Apr-24-2012 By 

      (-4) | Report

    • Comment of user 'Hazel_Nut' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @Hazel_Nut Read again, you didn't catch the sarcasm ; )

      Oh and that's supposed to be "Grönneger" isn't it?

      Posted Apr-24-2012 By 

      (2) | Report

    • Comment of user 'Hazel_Nut' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @Hazel_Nut Groningen is "verhollaandst" according to Wikipedia it's supposed to be Grönnen, or Grunnen..

      Gotta love all those different dialects in a country as small as the Netherlands, I think it's brilliantly funny too that someone from the west may have difficulty understanding what someone from the north says to them in dialect while it's just an hour or two hour long drive or so, lol!

      Posted Apr-24-2012 By 

      (1) | Report

  • Destined to fail, that's what this was, but they gave it the good old college try anyways.

    Honestly, that Wilders guy... right wing politician yet economical leftist disguised as Mozart on crack.

    Insurmountable differences, conflicting political agendas...

    whoah! we didn't see this coming, lol!

    Posted Apr-24-2012 By 

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  • look at him..he`s getting famous on made it boy !!!

    Posted Apr-24-2012 By 

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  • Comment of user 'Hazel_Nut' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • indo mutant traying to be Duch nationalist.i have seen this befor in mixed marriage children.most of them are ok but some mutate to horrible monsters traying to proof to evrybody they are 100% patriots

    Posted Apr-24-2012 By 

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