The Netherlands' asylum policy will become "more selective and more restrictive", the leader of the centre-right government that rules with the backing of a far-right party said Friday.

The country which long cultivated an image of multi-cultural tolerance, now wants to "address the criminality of foreigners, harmonise and simplify the asylum criteria and fight against illegality," an interior ministry statement said.

"The asylum policy will become more selective and more restrictive," Prime Minister Mark Rutte added at a press conference after a cabinet meeting in The Hague.

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