No Dutch majority for new eurozone rules, Labour to vote no

The Labour party will not take the minority government’s side and vote in favour of new tougher eurozone monetary union rules, the two leading contenders for the party leadership say in Tuesday’s NRC.

Favourites Diederik Samsom and Ronald Plasterk told the paper they do not support the rules, which will force the Netherlands to reduce its budget deficit to 3% by 2013.
Until now, Labour has supported the cabinet and ensured EU policy wins majority support.
The new rules will still become law even if the Dutch parliament fails to ratify them because only 12 out of 17 eurozone countries must approve the measures for them to become law.
However, a no-vote will be embarrassing for the government, which has made a point of being tough on eurozone rule-breaking, the paper points out.
Both Labour MPs stress they are not opposed to the policy ‘in principle’ but are unhappy that the Netherlands has not been given clemency by the European Commission. The Commission can allow a country to break the 3% rule in ‘very special circumstances’.
The MPs say the Dutch economy will be damaged unnecessarily be the severe cuts necessary to reduce the budget deficit to 3%.

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