Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has announced his resignation from the coalition government due to a lack of agreement on migration policy. He said the Dutch government fell after differences between the coalition parties over migration policy.
The four allies could not reach an agreement in the crisis talks chaired by Rutte on Friday. The coalition government led by Rutte was formed a year and a half ago, but for some time the differences between the parties involved in the government in the migration policy were coming to the fore.
Rutte confirmed the fall of the government while speaking to the media on Friday evening after an emergency cabinet meeting. He said he would submit his resignation to King Willem-Alexander on Saturday. Rutte, however, said that all ministers would continue their work as a caretaker cabinet until fresh elections were held.
According to media reports, Rutte’s VVD party was trying to limit the flow of asylum seekers after last year’s controversy over refugee camps. Asylum applications in the Netherlands rose by more than a third last year to more than 47,000. Earlier this year, the government said there could be around 70,000 applications from asylum seekers in 2023.
Prime Minister Rutte’s government this week tried to implement a plan that included a provision to limit the number of relatives of war refugees in the Netherlands to just 200 people per month. But the allies involved in the coalition government strongly opposed it. Rutte announced the resignation of his cabinet, saying that this decision was very difficult for us.
He said the difference of opinion among the coalition partners cannot be ironed out. He said that all sides made great efforts to find a solution, but unfortunately, it is impossible to resolve the differences in migration policy. Rutte, 56, holds the record for the longest tenure as prime minister in the Netherlands. He is in this position since 2010.