Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte overwhelmingly survived a late-night vote of no-confidence just hours after his foreign minister quit, admitting he had lied about attending a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, RFE/RL reports.
Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra resigned on February 13 after acknowledging before parliament that he had lied about personally hearing Putin speak in 2006 about plans to create a "Greater Russia" in Europe.
Opposition legislators who were outraged about Zijlstra's deception had offered a rare no-confidence motion in the lower house of parliament, but it was strongly rejected by 101-43.
In response to legislators' questions, Rutte explained before the vote why he had not informed parliament about Zijlstra's false claims.
"I didn't think this affair would have such a political fallout. I underestimated the impact of this lie," he said.