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Dutch Government Collapses Over Immigration Disagreement

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Dutch Government Collapses Over Immigration Disagreement
The Dutch government has collapsed because of a disagreement between coalition parties over asylum policies, Prime Minster Mark Rutte has said.

The four parties were unable to find agreement in crisis talks chaired by Mr Rutte on Friday.


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The government was set up a year and a half ago but the parties have been opposed on migration for some time.

Local media reported fresh elections would likely be held in November.

Mr Rutte’s conservative VVD party had been trying to limit the flow of asylum seekers, following a row last year about overcrowded migration centres. His plans were opposed by his junior coalition partners.

He announced the demise of the administration at a news conference on Friday night following an emergency cabinet meeting. On Saturday, he added, he would present King Willem-Alexander with his letter of resignation.

The PM did, however, clarify that the caretaker cabinet’s ministers would continue their duties until the upcoming elections.

In the Netherlands, asylum applications increased by more than a third last year to reach over 47,000, and according to government estimates from earlier this year, they anticipate about 70,000 applications in 2023.

This week, Mr. Rutte attempted to push through a measure that would have limited the number of relatives of refugees from war who could enter the Netherlands to just 200 each month.

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

“The decision was very difficult for us”, Mr Rutte told journalists as he announced his cabinet’s resignation. The differences in views between the coalition partners were “irreconcilable”, he added.

“All parties went to great lengths to find a solution, but the differences on migration are unfortunately impossible to bridge.”

A compromise proposal, known as the “emergency brake”, which would only trigger the restrictions in the event of an excessively high influx of migrants, was not enough to save the government.

“The four parties decided that they cannot reach an agreement on migration,” the Christian Union’s spokesman Tim Kuijsten said. “Therefore they decided to end this government.”

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

He has been under pressure on migration because of the rise of far-right parties such as Geert Wilders’ PVV.

The Farmer-Citizen Movement (BBB), which became the biggest party in the upper house of parliament after a shock election win in March, said they will not serve in any future government led by Mr Rutte.

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Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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