Overseas: Poll Results Shock in France, Dutch Prime Minister Resigns
Following a dispute revolving around European budgetary issues, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his cabinet resigned this morning. As per Queen Beatrix's request, the group is continuing to work while she reviews the pending departure.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Rutte is expected to speak with Parliament tomorrow afternoon in order to schedule new elections and talk about budget cuts.
"Talks over measures to slash the government's budget deficit collapsed over the weekend after seven weeks of negotiations, raising questions about the future commitment of one of the euro zone's foremost proponents of fiscal stringency to a German-led austerity agenda," WSJ reported today. "The talks collapsed after the right-wing Freedom Party pulled out of talks with Mr. Rutte's center-right liberal party. The negotiations had been aimed at cutting the budget deficit to 3% of gross domestic product next year, in line with European Union rules, from a forecast 4.6%."
Just as Rutte was preparing to hand in his resignation, the first French poll results were in and issued to the public on Sunday evening. Taking top honors, Francois Hollande beat out the competition with 28.8% of the votes. However, Nicholas Sarkozy is not trailing too far behind with 26.1%.
Hollande did not escape with a landslide, but definitely has a firm hold on the leading position.
Creeping up in third place was Marine Le Pen with 18.5% of the votes. This bronze medal stunned many across the country, as she placed much better-than-expected due to the fact that nationalism is back.
According to Reuters, Le Pen's votes are sure to determine who will win between Hollande and Sarkozy.
"Far-rightist Marine Le Pen threw France's presidential race wide open on Sunday by scoring nearly 20 percent in the first round - votes that may determine the runoff between Socialist favourite Francois Hollande and conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy," Reuters.com reported.
The official winner will be announced Sunday, May 6.
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