PVV investigates return of guilder, may call for referendum

The anti-Islam PVV is paying a ‘renowned international bureau’ to investigate whether bringing back the guilder would benefit the Dutch economy.

If the report is positive, the party will press for a referendum on leaving the euro, party leader Geert Wilders says in Friday’s Telegraaf.
‘The cabinet is frightening us by telling us the lights will go out if we leave the euro. Of course it will cost money, but I want to know if going back to the guilder will deliver more in the long term,’ Wilders told the paper.
Prime minister Mark Rutte told reporters after the weekly cabinet meeting the PVV’s action will probably show that a return to the guilder would be bad for Europe and help persuade Wilders to toe the cabinet line.
Finance minister Jan Kees de Jager also said a return to the guilder ‘is not an option’. The euro has delivered many benefits, such as low inflation and modest unemployment, the minister said.
Wilders denies the move is aimed at putting pressure on the coalition, which may be forced to make more spending cuts next year because of the eurozone debt crisis.
The PVV has agreed to support the minority cabinet on the economy in return for tougher immigration rules.
According to a Maurice de Hond poll earlier this week, 58% of the population support a return to the guilder. The Netherlands adopted the euro in 2001.

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