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Dutch ruling coalition slammed in local elections; Labor loses Amsterdam after 65 years on top


AMSTERDAM — Parties in the Netherlands' centrist ruling coalition have suffered major losses in local elections.

Perhaps most dramatically, junior member Labor lost its grip on power in Amsterdam for the first time in 65 years.

Although Wednesday's municipal elections focused on local issues, the results released Thursday reflect dissatisfaction with the austerity policies of conservative Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his Labor Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

Major winners included the centrist D-66 party, which took Amsterdam, and the far right Freedom Party of populist Geert Wilders, which is anti-European and anti-immigration.

Rutte said he had a "dirty taste" in his mouth after Wilders led his supporters Wednesday in chanting they want "fewer" Moroccans in the Netherlands.

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