Political crisis: we all have to work together, says prime minister

Prime minister Mark Rutte made an appeal to parliament on Tuesday to work together to help the Netherlands through the economic crisis, ahead of the general election.

‘The economy is faltering, employment is under pressure and the national debt is growing faster than we can credit,’ Rutte said. ‘These are the facts.’
It is now up to parliament and to the general public to decide what happens next, Rutte said. ‘I hope the parties in this room will do what is necessary to help the Netherlands through these difficult economic times.

Finance minister Jan Kees de Jager is quoted as saying by the Financial Times that he would meet the European Commission deadline of April 30 to explain how the Netherlands will reduce its budget deficit to below 3% next year.
The government alliance collapsed at the weekend after Geert Wilders’ dropped his support for plans to cut €14bn off government spending.
But it is still unclear which if any of the plans agreed during the seven weeks of talks are likely to be approved by MPs before the general election takes place. D66 leader Alexander Pechtold said during Tuesday’s meeting he wants a debate on the government’s finances on Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, it now seems likely the election will be held in September after all – possibly as early as September 5. Labour leader Diekerick Samsom says the change of heart is a gesture to a number of smaller parties who say they will not be ready to fight a June general election.

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