AMSTERDAM (AP) — Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's government has survived a no-confidence vote called at the start of a debate over his Cabinet's 2014 budget.
The motion was largely symbolic, as Rutte's center-right VVD party and coalition partner Labor hold a majority in the lower house of Parliament. However, they lack a majority in the Senate, and Wednesday's motion may prove a foretaste of the difficulty Rutte will face in finding support for his unpopular "austerity" budget there.
The two largest opposition parties voted in favor of the motion. The Dutch economy is suffering from a lengthy recession and rising unemployment, which many economists believe have been partly caused by years of government tax hikes and spending cuts aimed at satisfying European rules limiting budget deficits to 3 percent of GDP.