Brief statement Rutte preceding the parliamentary debate
Brief statement Prime Minister Mark Rutte preceding the parliamentary debate.
Yesterday afternoon I tendered to the Queen the resignation of all the members of the government. That became inevitable on Saturday, when the talks at the Catshuis on necessary financial and economic measures ended in deadlock. After seven weeks of intensive discussions, it ultimately proved impossible to arrive at a joint response to the key questions facing the Netherlands. Unfortunately, one of the parties taking part in the negotiations decided at the last moment not to support a package of measures that, except for minor details, had been agreed in full. That decision eliminated the basis for the political cooperation between the coalition parties and the party that has been giving the government parliamentary support. The government has therefore tendered its resignation, as it now lacks sufficient certainty that the implementation of the coalition agreement will have the backing of a parliamentary majority.
The government deeply regrets this development. We had entered the negotiations intending to do, in difficult circumstances, what is in the Netherlands' best interests. And inaction is not in the Netherlands' interests. What happened on Saturday did not lessen the urgency of acting. The problems we face are too serious for that. The economy is stalling; unemployment is threatening to rise; and the national debt is growing more quickly than we can afford. These are the facts, and we cannot ignore them.
As I said on Saturday, I stand here without pretension. It is now up to the House - and will soon be up to the voters - to take the necessary decisions, as it should be in a democracy. But I stand before you in the hope that the parties in this House are prepared to join with the government in the coming weeks to do what has to be done to guide the Netherlands responsibly through these difficult economic times. In the interests of the Netherlands and of the Dutch people. The government would now like to debate this matter with the House.