Prime minister Mark Rutte on Tuesday admitted he had not been able to ensure the new rescue deal for Greece would not cost the Netherlands money, as promised in the general election.
‘If I am honest, I have not been able to entirely keep my promise that the delay should not cost us any money,’ Rutte said. Political compromises are inevitable, the prime minister added, pointing out the new deal does not give any extra money to Greece or a discount.
The new rescue package for Greece agreed between the eurozone and International Monetary Fund will cost the Netherlands around €70m a year in lost interest over a period of 14 years, finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said after the meeting.
Eurozone finance ministers and the IMF took 12 hours to reach a deal to cut Greece’s debts by €40bn and open the way for releasing the next round of bail-out cash.
The exact sum the deal will cost the Netherlands will be worked out in the coming days, RTL news quoted the minister as saying. The agreement is within the terms of agreements with the Dutch parliament, the minister added.
‘We said no new money and no new guarantees and that is what has happened,’ Dijsselbloem said. ‘We are losing out on some income [from interest on the loan].’ The Netherlands has made a profit on its cash support for Athens over the past three years, the minister said.
The Dutch parliament is divided on the deal, with Socialist and PVV parliamentarians saying it does not offer a structural solution. ‘Rutte is again soft on the Greeks and tough on the Dutch,’ PVV leader Geert Wilders said using the microblogging service Twitter.
MPs from the ruling VVD, the Christian Democrats and GroenLinks said they would wait for a statement from the minister before commenting.
More on the deal
Eurozone finance ministers agree deal on Greek bail-out
Eurozone agrees Greek bail-out deal
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