Mark Rutte: Dutch coalition government is collapsing in row over immigration – reports

  • By Robert Greenall
  • BBC News

photo caption,

Mr. Rota held three days of talks to try to save his coalition

Media reports said the Dutch government had collapsed due to disagreements between coalition parties over asylum policies.

The four parties were unable to reach an agreement in the crisis talks chaired by Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

The government was formed a year and a half ago, but the parties have been diametrically opposed on immigration policy for some time.

New elections will be held now, possibly in the fall.

Rutte’s office has yet to confirm the collapse, but said he will speak to reporters after holding an emergency cabinet meeting on Friday night.

His conservative VVD party has been trying to curb the influx of asylum seekers, after a row last year over overcrowded immigration centres.

This week Rutte tried to impose a cap on the number of relatives of war refugees allowed into the Netherlands at just 200 per month.

But the coalition’s junior partners, the Christian Union, a pro-family party, and the socially liberal D66 party, were staunchly opposed.

Proposing a compromise, known as the “emergency brake”, which would only impose restrictions in the event of an overflow of migrants, was not enough to save the government.

Rutte, 56, is the country’s longest serving prime minister, having been in office since 2010. The current government – which took power in January 2022 – is his fourth coalition.

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