Mark Rutte: Netherlands coalition government collapses in migration row


The Dutch government has collapsed because of differences between coalition parties over asylum policies, according to media reports.

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

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

New elections will now be held, probably in the autumn.

Mr Rutte’s office has not yet confirmed the collapse, but said he would speak to journalists after holding an emergency cabinet meeting on Friday evening.

His conservative VVD party had been trying to limit the flow of asylum seekers, following a row last year about overcrowded migration centres.

This week Mr Rutte tried to force through a plan which included a cap on the number of relatives of war refugees allowed into the Netherlands at just 200 people per month.

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

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

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.

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 lead by Mr