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Budget breakdown forces Dutch back to the polls

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Budget breakdown forces Dutch back to the polls


The Netherlands look to be heading for early elections after budget talks collapsed.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Liberal Party heads a minority government with the Christian Democrats.

He said efforts to reach a budget deal would continue but elections were likely after political ally Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party walked out of negotiations.

Wilders told reporters the package on offer was unacceptable both for his party and the country. He said it was time for voters to decide.

Talks on cutting spending by 16 billion euros to maintain market confidence began on March 5 and were due to last just three weeks.

The government wants to reduce the public deficit which was at 4.7 percent of GDP last year.

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