EU competitiveness pact is harmless, says prime minister

The competitiveness pact which EU leaders will sign later on Friday is a harmless agreement which has little meaning for the Netherlands, the Financieele Dagblad quotes prime minister Mark Rutte as saying.

EU leaders are expected to sign the deal at today’s summit but bigger decisions to tackle the crisis – including changes to the bail-out fund – will be handled at another meeting later this month.
France and Germany published their proposals for a pact last month. Their plan aimed to get all EU countries to agree to harmonised taxation and labour policies, and increase the state retirement age to 67.
That has since been watered down following widespread objections.
The revised document is ‘a fine piece of paper’ which is based largely on national decision-making and ‘will help strengthen economies,’ Rutte told the paper.
Dutch MPs say it is important to keep national control over pensions, taxes and wage policy.

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