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Dutch coalition negotiations fail

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Dutch coalition negotiations fail


No deal, says the leader of the Liberal party in the Netherlands.

Mark Rutte says efforts to form a coalition government supported by the populist anti-Muslim Freedom Party have failed.

The coalition would have included the Christian Democrats, but there has been growing internal division over the idea of working with the Freedom Party.

Leader of the anti-Muslim party, Geert Wilders, said the country “needed a stable government and the Christian Democrats could not give enough guarantees to provide that”.

The Netherlands has been without a permanent cabinet since the last government collapsed in February, forcing early elections. The government fell apart in a row over whether to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

Experts say several coalition options remain open before new elections would have to be called.

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