Dutch will pay Brussels €642m surcharge ‘if the facts are correct’

The Netherlands will pay a Brussels surcharge of €642m if the facts are correct, finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem told tv show Nieuwsuur on Sunday evening.

The extra payment will be treated as an incidental in the government’s books and will not have an impact on next year’s spending plans, Dijsselbloem said. ‘I am not going to make budget cuts for it,’ he told the programme.

The Netherlands is one of a handful of countries which have been asked to pay an extra contribution to Brussels based on a reassessment of the country’s economic performance.

Britain has been hardest hit and British prime minister David Cameron has said he will not pay the €2.1bn Brussels is demanding.

Dijsselbloem said he has asked the European Commission to explain the unexpectedly large amount and that he has not yet had a satisfactory answer. He also criticised the way the surcharge was presented and the deadline of December 1.

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