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Archive for Saturday, February 20, 2010

Government collapses over Afghan mission

February 20, 2010

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— The Dutch coalition government collapsed today over irreconcilable differences on whether to extend the Netherlands’ military mission in Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende announced that the second largest party in his three-party alliance is quitting, in a breakdown of trust in what had always been an uneasy partnership.

Balkenende made no mention of elections as he spoke to reporters after a 16-hour Cabinet meeting in The Hague that ended close to dawn.

However, the resignation of the Labor Party would leave his government with an unworkable majority, and political analysts said early elections appeared inevitable.

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