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No relaxation of eurozone rules for the Netherlands: Brussels

Wednesday 09 May 2012

The Netherlands cannot expect any relaxation of the rules requiring the budget deficit to be cut to below 3%, European commissioner Olli Rehn told news agency ANP on Wednesday.

'Rumours about a relaxation [of the rules] are unfounded,' Rehn said. The Dutch economy is not in such trouble that an exception would be possible, ANP quoted Rehn as saying.

In the interview, Rehn emphasised it is essential for the Dutch economy that the Netherlands sticks to the rules.

Structural reforms

The austerity agreement signed by the minority government and three other parties at the end of April includes structural reforms which are important for the sustainability of Dutch government finances, he said.

The Volkskrant says Rehn's comments are significant because there have been signs that Brussels may be more relaxed about the Dutch deficit, which threatens to reach 4.6% this year.

Under eurozone rules, it must be below 3% by 2013, forcing the government to cut spending and increase taxes.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

As far as I know the Kunduz coalition has already agreed they want stick to the 3%. So I don't understand all this fuss. Mr. Rehn should be more concerned about what Hollande does in France, since there are also rumors the new president wants a relaxation of the European rules.

By pepe | 9 May 2012 4:44 PM

Pepe, the fuss is because the Netherlands had a big mouth when we thought it would be OK for us and showed no tolerance towards others (e.g. the Knoflooklanden as they are named with contempt) at all. Now it is rather humiliating ("ironic" to use the Economist's words) that NL is in trouble itself, after acting like the best of the class. Italy, Spain, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Belgium amongst others are quite satisfied with the trouble the prior government led us to. But you can continue thinking that nobody in Europe realises this if it makes you feel better

By Leon | 9 May 2012 8:02 PM

@Leon, the Netherlands didn't ask for relaxation of the rules. The moment other countries are bailing out the Netherlands, is the moment they can be satisfied about the, so called, trouble we are in.

By pepe | 9 May 2012 8:40 PM

No relaxation of Eurozone rules for the Netherlands: Brussels. The confinement of a financial straitjacket for a dynamic economy as Holland as dictated by Brussels is detrimental. What happens if a dyke burst? You must stay under the 3% written in your constitution by Brussels. Herman Van Rompuy a Belgian is the object of negative criticism in many lands of the EU (and also in the German satirical shows) that illustrates how Brussels is making the EU “kaput”.

By Terence Hale | 10 May 2012 4:43 AM

It is a lesson most of the children learnt early in their lives: treat the unfortunates pitifully, you never know you may get in trouble too and need their help.

By joanna | 10 May 2012 7:57 AM

Europe forces governements to go under 3% deficit in order to keep on borrowing money at a "low" rate from private banks. Rates they wouldn t have to worry about if the Eu wasn't forcing them to borrow from private banks in the first place, meanwhile we are going into recession because of that while EU lend money at a 1% rate to the same banks,...??? @pepe, before to think about what others might do , we should be more concerned about what we are doing now because it s far from brilliant,....

By Jules C | 10 May 2012 8:23 AM

The commissioner has spoken so we have to do as we're told
No point having the elections when the policy is decided

By denhaag | 10 May 2012 9:35 AM

Yep, caught in the net of their own hypocrisy. How much you wanna bet, when next year comes around you will hear a lot of; "Worse than previously expected"? The package will not be enough, by far, period!!!

By Jimmy | 10 May 2012 5:34 PM

Hopefully the EU will collapse soon, it is looking like it will more and more everyday and more and more every election all over Europe. Of course Herman Van Rompuy our unelected leader doesn't have to worry because he pays himself more than Obama with our tax money.

Nation states and competition between nation states is what made Europe great over the past 600 years & now we are become the USSR. What a joke!

By Phil | 11 May 2012 3:51 AM

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