Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has handed his government’s resignation to Queen Beatrix after talks on reducing the country’s budget to meet European guidelines failed.
The government information service announced on Monday that the Queen accepted Rutte’s resignation and asked him to tend to urgent matters of the state until elections possibly as early as June.
The negotiations on a 16-billion-euro austerity package to rescue the Dutch economy began in early March after the economy plunged into recession and forecasts showed the 2013 budget deficit would reach 4.6 percent.
However, negotiations failed over the weekend after the populist Freedom Party (PVV) leader, Geert Wilders’ refused to accept austerity demands.
The Netherlands, one of only four eurozone countries to still retain triple A credit rating, could lose the status as a result of the turmoil.
The worsening eurozone debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, triggering incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries.
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