The Netherlands appears to be at odds with the rest of the eurozone countries about the actual size of the new rescue package for Greece, according to Dutch newspapers at the weekend.
Prime minister Mark Rutte is insisting the full cost of the newly-agreed rescue package for Greece is €109bn, including a €50bn contribution from the banks, but the European Commission says the deal is worth €159bn.
A spokesman for the prime minister told the Telegraaf the Commission is adding up different amounts of money to Rutte. These include several tens of billions of euros not paid out from the 2010 rescue package plus €28bn that Greece must raise from selling state property and companies.
The Financieele Dagblad says ‘Rutte and Brussels don’t agree about Greek aid’. A highly-placed Commission aide told the paper the €50bn banking contribution is in addition to the €109bn agreed on Thursday.
In addition, the paper says, it has seen European Council documents which state explicitly that the €50bn comes on top of the €109bn contribution from the eurozone countries and IMF.
The Volkskrant says there is ‘complete confusion’ about how much money Greece will get.
EU civil servants told the paper it is ‘incomprehensible’ that Rutte did not understand the figures.
‘There can never have been any doubt about the €159bn figure,’ one official told the paper. ‘This is very embarrassing for the Netherlands,’ said another.
Despite the confusion, the package of measures was warmly welcomed by most political parties on Friday.
Finance minister Jan Kees de Jager is expected to brief MPs on the different figures on Monday.