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Dutch agriculture minister resigns on reform plans

Reuters Story - June 07, 1999 08:22

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THE HAGUE, June 7 (Reuters) - Dutch Agriculture Minister Hayo Apotheker quit on Monday, saying he could not continue without support for his proposals to reform the pig sector in the Netherlands.

Queen Beatrix had accepted Apotheker's resignation, the government press office said in a statement. Apotheker, 49, is a member of the junior coalition partner D66.

His ministry and his state secretary, Geesje Faver, had recently faced strong opposition criticism for failing to respond swiftly to a dioxin scare that has spread over the border from neighbouring Belgium. However, pigs rather than chickens proved to be Apotheker's downfall in the end.

"As you are aware I have been confronted with limitations regarding my proposals for the pig sector since the beginning of the year," Apotheker said in a statement.

Apotheker's centrist D66 party is in a coalition with Labour and the Liberals which broke up last month after D66's electoral reform plan was defeated in the Dutch senate.

The coalition patched up its differences and re-formed last Thursday, but is looking on shakier ground than last year when it won an overwhelming vote of support in general elections.

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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