Political crisis: Elections loom as prime minister visits the queen

Prime minister Mark Rutte tendered his resignation to queen Beatrix on Monday afternoon, following the collapse of talks aimed at restoring order to the government’s finances.

Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration PVV, pulled out of the negotiations on Saturday, saying the impact of the spending cuts ‘ordered by Brussels’ was too great.
The decision means the minority cabinet no longer has enough support in parliament, making elections inevitable.
The cabinet met for 1.5 hours on Monday morning to discuss the political crisis.
Most MPs say the general election should take place before the summer, because of the pressure to come up with a comprehensive package of spending cuts. They will debate the political crisis with prime minister Mark Rutte on Tuesday.
According to Nos television, the election could take place at the end of June.
At the same time, opposition party leaders have said they are willing to work with the government to draw up a 2013 budget in order to at least partly meet demands by Brussels that the budget deficit be reduced to below 3% next year.
There are just seven days to go before the Netherlands should submit its spending plans although there is some flexibility in this, Nos television says.
A spokesman for European commissioner Olli Rehn told reporters on Monday Brussels expected the Netherlands would do all it can to meet its obligations.

Earlier stories
The election will be about Europe and the euro, says Wilders
The alliance with the PVV is over, what happens next?
Economists fear impact of austerity talks collapse
What had been agreed? State pension at 66 in 2015, VAT at 21%
Austerity talks collapse as Wilders walks out, election likely

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