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Dutch PM resigns after talks to bring deficit in line with EU rules collapse

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has offered his resignation this morning, after talks over new budget cuts to bring Dutch deficit in line with EU rules broke down on Saturday. After more than seven weeks of negotiations, far-right PVV party led by Geert Wilders withdrew its support for the significant budget cuts, many of which demanded by the EU, and for the minority government itself. Wilders said, “We will not accept having our people bleed at the hands of bureaucrats in Brussels,” adding that the election will be about Europe and the euro.

Early elections may take place after the summer recess, around September. A snap poll by Maurice de Hond released on Sunday showed Wilders’ support steady at 14%. A leader in Handelsblatt notes that “for Germany, new [Dutch] elections bring along further insecurity at the European level”, noting that if Wilders gains greater influence it could become harder for the new government to ratify and implement the ESM treaty and the fiscal compact.