Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte submits resignation to Queen Beatrix

Monday 23 April 2012 22.27
Geert Wilders and Prime Minister Mark Rutte last month
Geert Wilders and Prime Minister Mark Rutte last month

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has tendered his government's resignation to Queen Beatrix after the collapse of a parliamentary partnership with a far-right party.

"Prime Minister Mark Rutte has offered his cabinet's resignation to her Majesty Dutch Queen Beatrix," the government information service said in a statement.

"The Queen is considering the resignation, but has asked all ministers and deputy ministers to continue to do everything that is necessary in the interests of the kingdom," the service added.

The resignation has been widely expected since the weekend when Mr Rutte acknowledged that his government's rift with Geert Wilders' Freedom Party would likely lead to early elections.

Although not part of the ruling coalition, Mr Wilders' party had effectively guaranteed the government's majority for the last 18 months by agreeing to support it in parliament.

That arrangement came to an abrupt halt at the weekend when talks about a new package of austerity measures foundered.

The next election was not due until May 2015.

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