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'Teflon Mark': Dutch PM Rutte reaches key milestone

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Mark Rutte became the longest-serving Dutch prime minister on Tuesday, after being in office for almost 12 years.He first became prime minister in the Netherlands in October 2010 and is known by some as "Teflon Mark" because of his ability to survive scandals.“It’s the greatest job in the world, an unbelievable honour.

I must say that there are now a large number of puzzles on my desk, but these things happen,” Rutte said late last month as Dutch politics entered its summer recess.The 55-year-old centre-right PM leads the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), which despite declining in recent polls, remains the largest party in Dutch politics.Rutte is now leading his fourth coalition government.“Basically he became prime minister by default because of the failure of others not because of his own achievements — just because the other ones collapsed more than the VVD did,” political scientist André Krouwel of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, told AP.That has helped Rutte retain Dutch politics' top job despite damaging crises, including a scandal involving thousands of young families being plunged into debt and despair after being wrongfully accused of child benefit fraud.Rutte's third coalition resigned because of the scandal.

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