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Ruling coalition ‘quits’ in Netherlands over welfare payments scandal

Mark Rutte’s government will remain in a caretaker capacity until a new coalition is formed after a March election.

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Mark Rutte (Chris J. Ratcliffe/AP)

Mark Rutte (Chris J. Ratcliffe/AP)

Mark Rutte (Chris J. Ratcliffe/AP)

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte’s four-party coalition government is resigning to take political responsibility for a scandal involving investigations into child welfare payments that wrongly labelled thousands of parents as fraudsters, it was reported.

The move on Friday was seen as largely symbolic.

Mr Rutte’s government will remain in office in a caretaker mode until a new coalition is formed after a March 17 election in the Netherlands.

But the resignation will bring to an end a decade in office for Mr Rutte, although his party is expected to win the election, putting him first in line to begin talks to form the next ruling coalition.

Mr Rutte’s spokesman did not immediately return calls seeking confirmation of the reports.

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