Dutch premier Mark Rutte


January 15, 2021

"Mark Rutte's Dutch government resigns."

The Volkskrant newspaper writes on its website.

This is the epilogue of a crisis that broke out following a scandal linked to child benefits.

Tensions escalated yesterday with the resignation of the opposition Labor Party (PvdA) leader, Lodewijk Asscher, who was Minister for Social Affairs and Employment in a previous Rutte government between 2012 and 2017. His resignation has further increased political pressure on the executive.

The fall of the Rutte III government does not automatically lead to early elections.

The current government structure could in fact continue to remain standing for the handling of current affairs both for the crisis linked to the coronavirus but also in consideration of the fact that the legislative elections are scheduled for next March 17.

The case, reports the local press, arose after tax officials unjustly accused about 20,000 families of fraud, causing many to go into debt to repay child benefits.

Rutte belongs to the Popular Party for Freedom and Democracy (Vvd) and has been prime minister since October 14, 2010. With more than ten years as a premier, he is the second longest-serving European leader, after Germany's Angela Merkel.