Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte stepped in on a child-allowance scandal, but said he would remain the interim leader until a new cabinet was formed.
Mr Rutte, now at the end of his third term as Prime Minister, is a center-right politician, along with Angela Merkel, a former German Chancellor, as well as one of Europe’s longest-lived leaders. Ms. Merkel is set to step down in the autumn when Germany conducts the federal election and her party is set to elect its new leader this weekend, running to succeed her as chancellor. Can.
Unlike Ms. Merkel, Mr. Rutte did not refuse to return to power, saying that his government would remain in place until a replacement cabinet was formed, so that the Netherlands was not left in the midst of a coronovirus epidemic.
Dutch cabinet formation has been slow in recent years, with the current four-party coalition requiring 225 days of negotiations after elections in 2017.
At the core of the scandal is the revelation that thousands of families have been wrongly accused of child-benefit fraud since 2012. The family, mostly of immigrant backgrounds, was ordered to repay thousands of euros without any means of appeal.