Sunday 17 October 2021

Dutch central bank chief criticises EU over French deficit

klaas knotDutch central bank president Klaas Knot has criticised the way France is getting round EU budget rules, the Volkskrant reports.

Knot has described it as ‘scandalous’ that other EU countries are allowing France to get away with bending the rules, the Volkskrant said on Thursday evening.

Two weeks ago the French government won an extra two years to get its budget deficit under the eurozone limit of 3%. Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte and finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem both supported the decision.

The Netherlands was in a similar situation to France two years ago but was not given any leeway, the Volkskrant points out.

Knot made the comments at the presentation of the Dutch central bank’s annual report. ‘By 2016, the euro will have existed for 16 years and France will have had a too-high budget deficit for 11 of those years,’ he said.

‘You can come up with a valid reason for every one of those years but… this pile of deficits is damaging the public’s faith in European treaties and the euro.’

Spain, Portugal and Ireland are examples of how it should be done, he said.

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