Outgoing finance minister Jan Kees de Jager has spent the day sounding out opposition parties to find out what new cutbacks they would be willing to support.
The cuts are needed to bring the 2013 budget deficit to within European Union limit of three percent of GDP. Mr De Jager is making a last-ditch effort to get agreement on a package of cuts. Parliament is due to debate the issue on Thursday afternoon.
The government had - after seven weeks of talks - agreed a raft of cuts and reforms worth about 14 billion euros with Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party. The minority coalition relied on his support in parliament. At the last moment, Mr Wilders pulled out of the deal and on Monday the government fell.
It remains to be seen whether or not Mr De Jager will succeed in his last-minute attempt to get a suitable package of cuts agreed by parliament before the EU deadline of 30 April. If the Netherlands fails to bring its 2013 budget deficit down to the EU's three percent limit, it will face a fine of 1.2 billion euros.
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