We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
The Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and Sweden have submitted their own COVID-19 recovery plan to the European Commission as a row over the EU’s strategy for offsetting the impact of coronavirus continues. The Netherlands and its partners, known as the ‘Frugal Four’, say they support the establishment of a one-off emergency fund but do not back debt sharing or a significant increase in the EU’s next seven-year budget. The Netherlands has been at the forefront of a campaign not to “give gifts” to southern European countries and this proposal is based on a “modernised” EU budget that will make sure countries are “better prepared for the next crisis”, a report by Politico claims.
The fund would be temporary and one-off and should not lead to “debt mutualisation”, regarded as a mortal danger because it would open the door to the dreaded Eurobonds – meaning Dutch taxpayers could become liable for Italian debt.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte was extraordinarily captured on film this month, as he reassured one worker that taxpayers’ money was not going to go to the Italians or the Spanish.
The video sparked fury, particularly in Italy, where anti-EU sentiment is growing stronger than ever.
As the row is set to continue, unearthed reports shed light on how Mr Rutte’s government fell in 2012 because of the European debt crisis.
Until then, the Dutch enthusiastically sided with Berlin in the demand that financially troubled nations curb their spending.
But Mr Rutte’s government found itself in the hot seat when official figures showed that its deficit in 2012 was on track to hit 4.6 percent of gross domestic product, well above the 3 percent limit for eurozone countries.
Negotiations over what to cut and by how much consumed Dutch political leaders for weeks.
Mr Rutte’s cabinet was plunged into crisis when Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) quit talks aimed at slicing €16billion (£13.1billon) from the budget.
JUST IN: JK Rowling’s savage verdict on Scottish independence revealed
His party was not part of the coalition but supported the minority government.
Mr Wilders fiercely attacked any EU-imposed budget cuts, vowing not to let “our pensioners bleed for Brussels’ diktats”.
This led to the early collapse of the government, and Mr Rutte submitted his resignation to Queen Beatrix on the afternoon of April 23, 2012.
His government had lasted for 558 days, making it one of the shortest Dutch cabinets since World War 2.
Brexit fury: How EU insisted ‘iconic’ Thatcher HQ will NOT be given up [REVEALED]
How Brexit boosted calls for Australia to leave the Commonwealth [INSIGHT]
Ex-Labour MP reveals THREE reasons why she voted for Boris Johnson [EXCLUSIVE]
The subsequent general election saw Mr Rutte’s party winning its highest number of seats ever, leading to a coalition between The People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and the Labour Party.
The government became the first to see out its full term since 1998, and while at the 2017 general election the VVD lost seats, it remained the largest party.
After a record-long formation period, Mr Rutte agreed to a new coalition between the VVD, Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA), Democrats 66 (D66) and Christian Union (CU) parties.
He was sworn in for a third term as Prime Minister on October 26, 2017.
In a clear warning to the EU today, the row and subsequent success of Mr Rutte in 2012 suggests he cannot back down in the current negotiations as he will lose popularity domestically.
Source: Read Full Article