Lodewijk Asscher

Regional News • Europe
Netherlands: Government resigns over child benefits scandal
Mark Rutte
Mark Rutte Credit: EU2017EE Estonian Presidency (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Prime Minister Mark Rutte's government stepped down on Friday after it emerged that officials had wrongly pursued thousands of people over welfare fraud. A parliamentary report called it an "unprecedented injustice" to claw back tens of thousands of euros without giving the accused a chance to prove their innocence. The pressure on Rutte's four-party coalition to resign had increased on Thursday when the leader of the opposition Labour party, Lodewijk Asscher, quit.

Rutte said the government would continue to lead the country's COVID-19 response team until elections already scheduled for March.