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Netherlands: PM Mark Rutte reportedly to offer resignation


Prime Minister Mark Rutte arrives at the Royal palace Huis ten Bosch where he will inform Queen Beatrix about the political situation of the government after the collapse of talks on austerity measures, in the Hague, Netherlands, on April 23, 2012. The resignation has been widely expected since the weekend when Rutte acknowledged that a rift with anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders' Freedom Party would likely lead to early elections, otherwise due in May 2015.


Robin Utrecht

Holland's prime minister Mark Rutte has offered his cabinet's resignation to Queen Beatrix, according to the BBC

His coalition collapsed after the Freedom Party pulled out of talks to cut €16.1 billion ($21.2 billion) from the budget.

The Associated Press wrote that the party pulled out of talks aimed at bringing the Dutch budget in line with new European Union rules meant to stave off future financial trouble. The euro zone has been struggling under the weight of massive public debt amassed by some countries that use the currency.

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While Holland has "relatively low levels of national debt, its economy is in recession and it is expected to post a deficit of 4.6 percent in 2012 — well over the 3 percent mandated by European rules," the AP said. 

European officials said the Netherlands and Germany were most strident in demanding the EU adopt a strict 3 percent deficit limit. 

The Guardian reports that Dutch political experts do not expect elections will be held before September.  The collapse "means that Rutte becomes the latest eurozone leader to fall victim to the eurozone crisis," the paper wrote.