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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Dutch junior finance minister Weekers quits amid criticism of handling of tax office problems

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The Dutch junior finance minister has quit, saying he no longer has enough support among lawmakers angry at his handling of blunders at the country's tax office.

Frans Weekers, deputy to Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, was formally offering his resignation to King Willem-Alexander on Thursday after announcing he would step down during a parliamentary debate late Wednesday night.

He has been criticized for his leadership of the Tax Service, which has been rocked by reports of fraud and late payments to thousands of citizens.

Weekers told lawmakers in Parliament the service "deserves a political leadership with broad support. ... I have not felt that broad support in this debate."

Weekers is a member of Prime Minister Mark Rutte's pro-free market Liberal Party. No replacement for him was immediately announced.

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