Dutch Cabinet in crisis meeting; elections likely
THE HAGUE - Associated Press
Dutch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders speaks to the press at the Hague April 21, 2012. REUTERS photoThe Dutch Cabinet is holding crisis talks after euro-skeptic lawmaker Geert Wilders withdrew his support for the minority coalition in a dispute over an austerity package aimed at getting the budget deficit back within European Union guidelines.
The departure of Wilders and his Freedom Party means Prime Minister Mark Rutte's two-party right wing administration no longer commands a majority in parliament.
Rutte is widely expected to offer his resignation after Monday's Cabinet meeting, clearing the way for national elections later this year.
Opposition lawmakers say they are prepared to work with Rutte to draw up a 2013 budget, but only if he quits first.