Dutch Finance Ministry in safe pair of hands

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Outgoing Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager has been asked by Prime Minister designate Mark Rutte to stay on the job. "I would love to. It's a great honour that I've been asked to go on," he told reporters after a meeting with Mr Rutte.

Jan Kees de Jager, a Christian Democrat and former businessman joined the previous cabinet as deputy finance minister. He stepped into the void left by the former incumbent, Wouter Bos, in February and is widely respected for his handling of the job. All Labour Party ministers, including Mr Bos, resigned from the cabinet after deep disagreements about the Netherlands' military mission in Afghanistan.

The new cabinet will be sworn in by Queen Beatrix on Thursday. Before then, Mr Rutte is trying to fill the last gaps in his line-up. He is speaking to a number of candidates this afternoon. Among the positions to be filled is that of Education Minister, which will go to a Christian Democrat. One of the likely contenders is outgoing deputy minister Marja van Bijsterveldt.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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