Government guarantee bill tops €861bn

The Dutch government had total outstanding guarantees to banks and other companies of €861bn at the end of 2008, according to the annual report on the government’s finances, reports the NRC.

The total is well above annual gross domestic product of some €600bn, the NRC points out on Friday.
‘Guarantees are a way of the government supporting risky activities with a clear public interest,’ finance minister Wouter Bos said in an introduction to the report. ‘But guarantees also lessen the transparency of the government’s finances.’ And furthermore guarantees should not be viewed as ‘free money’, he warned.
The report does not say how the treasury has covered itself against any eventual losses, the NRC says.
The guarantee on savings money – which runs to €100,000 per savings’ account – is €468bn, the paper says.
The mortgage guarantee scheme totals €100bn and €75bn is allocated to export credits, the World Bank, nuclear accidents and terrorism coverage for Schiphol airport, the NRC states.

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