New political row looms over ‘unavoidable’ extra Brussels payment

MPs from across the political spectrum are furious the Netherlands will have to pay at least €350m to help Brussels balance its 2013 books.

The ruling right-wing Liberal VVD has described the extra payment, agreed by finance ministers on Tuesday, as ‘unacceptable’, news agency ANP reports.

And Michiel Servaes, from the ruling Labour party, said he is ‘extremely disappointed’ that Brussels needs more cash. It is too easy to simply accept the new bill, Servaes said.

Foreign affairs minister Frans Timmermans has also pledged to do his best to have the agreement reversed. ‘To put it simply, this agreement means we have €500m less to spend elsewhere and that is extremely problematic at times of crisis like this,’ Nos quoted him as saying.

The extra contribution could mount up to €500m.

Warning

The EU budget faces a shortfall of some €11bn over 2013 and ministers have agreed to make extra payments totalling €7.3bn.

Dutch minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the extra payment is inevitable, Nos television reported, and that everything possible had been done to avoid it. However, a majority of EU ministers backed the decision, leaving opponents such as the Netherlands with no way out.

‘That money is gone,’ Nos quoted him as saying.

Dijsselbloem said earlier on Wedneday he did not yet know where the money would come from but that he would make proposals when he presents his spring budget statement later this month.


blog comments powered by Disqus