Immigration policy: Dutch government collapses over asylum dispute

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Dutch government collapses over asylum dispute

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte

Source: James Arthur Gekiere/BELGA/dpa

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s conservative VVD party wanted to limit the influx of asylum seekers. Two parties opposed him. The coalition then broke up.

DAccording to media reports, the coalition of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte broke up over the dispute over immigration. A crisis meeting of the four coalition partners led by Rutte had failed, the NOS and RTL broadcasters reported on Friday evening, as did the Dutch news agency ANP. New elections should now be scheduled.

Like other European countries, the Netherlands is grappling with the question of how to deal with the large number of immigrants. The Prime Minister’s centre-right VVD party had proposed tough rules for asylum seekers and threatened to leave the cabinet if the measures proposed by Rutte were not passed. Specifically, Rutte calls for making family reunification more difficult for war refugees.

The Christian Democratic party Christen Unie had declared that they “could not live with Rutte’s proposal,” and Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag’s center-left D66 party reportedly rejected the request.

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Negotiations on a migration agreement with President Kais Saied (left) in Tunis: Giorgia Meloni (2nd from right) with Ursula von der Leyen and Mark Rutte

The Dutch government has been at odds on the issue since it took office a year and a half ago. A scandal erupted last year when a baby died in a crowded migration center. Rutte’s previous government resigned in 2021 after a child benefit scandal

Asylum applications in the Netherlands rose by a third to over 46,000 last year and are expected to rise to more than 70,000 this year – a new high since 2015.

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