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PM offers government's resignation to Queen

Video by Aurore Cloe DUPUIS

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2010-02-20

The Dutch prime minister has formally extended the resignation of his government to Queen Beatrix. The move comes after the ruling coalition failed to agree on NATO's request to extend the country's military mission in Afghanistan.

AFP - The Dutch premier offered his government's resignation to Queen Beatrix on Saturday, a spokesman said as a spat over the country's Afghan military mission scuppered the ruling coalition.

"Contact has taken place" by telephone with the Queen, who is holidaying in Austria, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's spokesman Henk Brons told AFP.
   

Asked whether Balkenende had officially tendered the government's resignation to Beatrix, the constitutional head of state, Brons replied: "Yes".

Balkenende announced the government's collapse Saturday after 16 hours of  talks failed to save his three-year-old centre-left coalition, the fourth Dutch government to crumble since 2002.

The PvdA Labour Party withdrew from the government, insisting that the Netherlands' military mission in Afghanistan must end this year as planned, and that the government should reject a NATO request for a one-year extension.

Date created : 2010-02-20

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