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Dutch Government On Verge Of Collapse Over Budget Cuts

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte

The Dutch government appears on the verge of collapse following the breakdown of talks on proposed budget cuts.

Reports said Prime Minister Mark Rutte was expected to offer the resignation of his cabinet at a meeting with Queen Beatrix on April 23.

Rutte heads a minority center-right coalition government that has relied on populist politician Geert Wilder's rightwing Freedom Party for support in parliament.

The crisis erupted over the weekend when the Freedom Party refused to agree to budget cuts of up to 16 billion euros aimed at bringing the public-spending deficit in line with EU rules.

The resignation of Rutte's government would open the way to early elections in the Netherlands, which has traditionally been one of the most stable eurozone member countries.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP