Mark Rutte
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Dutch government falls over budget crisis

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has tendered his government's resignation to Queen Beatrix, paving the way for early elections.

His cabinet was plunged into crisis when Geert Wilders' Freedom Party (PVV) quit talks aimed at slicing 16bn euros (£13.1bn) from the budget. Mr Wilders refused to accept austerity demands to bring the budget deficit in line with EU rules. His party was not part of the coalition but supported the minority government.

The crisis has also fuelled fears that the Netherlands might lose its triple A credit-rating.

Anna Holligan reports.

  • 23 Apr 2012
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