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Dutch govt breaks up over migration dispute

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-07-08 09:03

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte [Photo/Agencies]

THE HAGUE - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Friday night announced the break-up of his government after a failure to reach an agreement on migration policy between the four coalition parties.

"It is no secret that the coalition partners have very different views on migration policy. And today we unfortunately have to conclude that those differences are irreconcilable," said Rutte at a press conference in The Hague following a meeting with his ministers.

"This decision is difficult for all of us and for me personally too. It is regrettable that it did not work out," he added.

The four parties all believe that measures need to be taken on migration issues, but they still have disputes about the strictness of the approach.

The most thorny issue is family reunification. Rutte's People's Party for Freedom and Democracy and the Christian Democratic Appeal insisted that a restriction on family reunification is a way to reduce the migration flow, but the Democrats 66 and Christian Union drew a red line on this.

The government later said in a statement that Rutte has filed an application for the resignation of all ministers and state secretaries to King Willem-Alexander.

"The king has considered the application for dismissal and has requested the Prime Minister, Ministers and State Secretaries to continue to do whatever they deem necessary in the interests of the Kingdom," it said.

The king will meet with Rutte on Saturday for an explanation of the cabinet's application for resignation, it added.

The collapse of the current government means new elections have to be planned, probably in November 2023, according to local media reports.

The fourth government of Rutte was inaugurated on Jan 10 last year.

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