THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch queen has called for national elections on Sept. 12, leaving the country with only a caretaker government for more than four months as it struggles to bring its budget deficit within EU-mandated limits.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his 18-month old government resigned Monday after failing to agree on billions of euros (dollars) in cuts to rein in government spending.
He met with Queen Beatrix late Tuesday night and she told him to dissolve parliament and schedule Sept. 12 elections.
Rutte had been one of the most vocal critics of countries not sticking to EU budget rules and is now facing a near impossible task of getting the Dutch deficit down to 3 percent of GDP next year.
Opposition parties say deep budget cuts will damage the economy.