The stumbling block proved to be a motion about reaching deals on returning refugees with North African countries, which GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver rejected.
‘I am really surprised’, Rutte said, adding that the talks broke down over a plan which ‘even the most left-wing government in Europe could support’.
CDA leader Sybrand Buma also had harsh words for GroenLinks and Klaver. ‘It is incredible that GroenLinks lacks the political will to tackle the migration problem within Europe,’ he said.
The talks on forming a new coalition government collapsed on Monday evening, when chief negotiator Herman Tjeenk Willink said the four parties involved had decided not to pursue the alliance.
Klaver said later he is extremely sorry that the talks had broken down again but stressed that GroenLinks is only prepared to support agreements to send back refugees if their rights are really guaranteed.
‘We want water-tight guarantees that the countries which we sign agreements with really will give people the right to protection and care,’ he said.
The Netherlands has been without a government since the March 15 general elections. Immigration was the downfall of talks between the same four parties earlier.
It is not yet clear what Tjeenk Willink will do next. D66 has already ruled out forming a cabinet with the Christian party ChristenUnie and all the big parties have ruled out working with the anti-immigration PVV.