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Dutch elections a 'strong possibility' after govt collapses

Dutch elections a 'strong possibility' after govt collapses
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Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders is in the spotlight after his party PVV refused to endorse deep austerity measures in the Netherlands, causing the government to collapse on Monday.

Elections are now a strong possibility, as early as June after Wilders pulled his support as an agreement was close.

Analysts said Wilders, who helped form the last coalition government in 2010, may be betting on similar gains to those seen by the National Front in France’s first round presidential elections last weekend.

Prime Minister Mark Rutter’s resignation jolted financial markets worried by potential turmoil in one of the eurozone’s most stable and prosperous countries.

The Netherlands has been particularly vocal in demanding other EU countries bring down their budget deficits. Next year, its own is set to rise to 4.7 percent of GDP.

The Dutch government needs to cut 16 billion euros.