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Dutch PM, cabinet tender resignation

Netherlands,Politics, Tue, 24 Apr 2012 IANS

The Hague, April 24 (IANS) Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte Monday tendered his government's resignation to Queen Beatrix, paving the way for early elections.


Although the Queen shall take the offer into consideration, which is in accordance with the tradition, she will normally not refuse the resignation, Xinhua reported.


"Her Majesty the Queen shall take the resignation into consideration and she asked the ministers and state secretaries to continue to engage in the interests of the Kingdom," the Dutch government information service RVD said.


On Saturday, Geert Wilders, leader of the right-wing Party of Freedom Party (PVV), quit negotiations over necessary additional budget savings. His party was not a member of the government, but gave it its support to get a small majority.


After seven weeks of negotiations, Wilders decided not to back the proposed budget cuts of 14.2 billion euros ($18.7 billion), which in his opinion were "unacceptable".


During a cabinet meeting Monday to discuss the situation, the ministers agreed that a fall of the government was inevitable.


"We are a very strong economic country, but we need budget cut discipline. When we cannot agree on the way how we are going to reach it then we have a political problem," Agriculture and Foreign Trade Minister Henk Bleker told Xinhua after the meeting.


A meeting is scheduled for Tuesday in the House of Commons to discuss the situation and a date for new elections.


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