Looking back on Kabinet-Rutte III

Prime Minister Mark Rutte remains silent about the chances of survival of his cabinet. Because of the benefits affair, the coalition of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie is under heavy pressure. The Cabinet meeting that will take place this afternoon is expected to provide more clarity about the future of Rutte-III.

On this page, we look back at the major milestones and events that were decisive for Rutte III. In addition to the surcharges affair, the response to the coronavirus, the resignation of Halbe Zijlstra, Lili & Howick, gas extraction in Groningen and the pension agreement are among the topics discussed.

Coronavirus response

Het kabinet kreeg begin 2020 te maken met de uitbraak van het coronavirus. Er moest snel gereageerd worden om de gevolgen zoveel mogelijk te beperken. Daarbij werden verregaande maatregelen doorgevoerd - sommige keuzes van het kabinet hadden grote protesten tot gevolg. Zo kwamen er duizenden mensen af op de demonstraties op het Malieveld waarbij geprotesteerd werd tegen de coronamaatregelen en de coronaspoedwet.

“Samen komen we deze moeilijke periode te boven. Let een beetje op elkaar. Ik reken op u.” - Mark Rutte

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Lili and Howick

Everything went wrong with the intended removal of the Armenian children Lili and Howick. Agreements between the organisations involved were not honoured, there was mutual distrust and the Repatriation and Departure Service (DT&V) failed to take control. This was the conclusion of the Justice and Security Inspectorate, which investigated the deportation, which ultimately failed.

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Halbe Zijlstra

Halbe Zijlstra, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, resigned during Rutte III. He said this immediately at the start of the debate in the Lower House where he had to answer for his actions. The VVD minister came under fire after he lied about his presence at a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

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Gaswinning in Groningen

As of 2012, the government took the first serious steps in dealing with the damage, strengthening buildings and providing financial compensation to affected Groningers. Nevertheless, the issue remained topical for a long time during the Rutte III cabinet. On behalf of the cabinet, Rutte apologised for dealing with the earthquake damage caused by gas extraction in the province. Minister Wiebes also apologised twice for the slip of the tongue in which he referred to a 'tick'.

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De speciale Kamercommissie concludeerde dat ouders "ongekend onrecht" is aangedaan. Het kabinet, de Kamer, de Belastingdienst en de rechtspraak hebben de "grondbeginselen van de rechtsstaat" geschonden, met verregaande gevolgen voor vele duizenden ouders. De ontspoorde fraudejacht vond vrijwel volledig plaats tijdens de kabinetten-Rutte.

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