European reforms need speeding up: Dutch finance minister

European countries need to speed up the pace of economic reform and pursue more growth-friendly spending strategies, Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said ahead of an EU finance minister’s meeting on Friday.

Dijsselbloem, who chairs the influential Eurogroup, is quoted as saying that the European central bank has already gone a long way in its efforts to facilitate reform.

‘Politicians should be asking themselves “what are we doing ourselves”,’ Dijsselbloem is quoted as saying by the Financieele Dagblad. ‘That means growth-friendly fiscal policies, getting budgets under control within the appropriate time-scale and, most of all, structural reforms,’ Dijsselbloem said.

‘A number of countries have wasted a lot of time,’ the minister said, without pointing fingers. ‘We will discuss how to get this up to speed today.’

Dijsselbloem will present the Dutch government’s 2015 spending plans to parliament next week. Earlier on Friday it emerged the Dutch budget deficit is set to drop to well under the eurozone 3% limit next year.

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