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Dutch prime minister quits as austerity talks fail

Dutch prime minister quits as austerity talks fail
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Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has resigned after talks to agree a new austerity package failed over the weekend.

The coalition collapsed after Rutte’s political ally, euroskeptic Geert Wilders, walked out claiming that to reduce the Dutch deficit to 3 per cent according to EU rules would hurt the country’s economy.

Gert Wilders, Freedom Party leader: “Let the Dutch voter decide what they think about the best politics now. We have good ideas about it now.”

The Netherlands is currently in recession and it is expected to post a deficit of 4.6 per cent this year.

Rutte is to set in place interim measures to protect the public purse until a date for the general election has been set, probably in the summer.

Ratings agency Fitch warned the Netherlands could well loose its triple A credit rating if the talks failed.