Prime minister Mark Rutte has admitted he is breaking his election promise by agreeing to a new financial package for Greece.
He was speaking at a press conference following the agreement on Monday by the eurogroup to provide Greece with a further rescue package of around €82bn.
He promised in 2012 that no more money would go to Greece, saying: ‘Two large rescue packages have been agreed. I think that is enough.’
‘If this new deal goes ahead, then I cannot keep my election promise, because extra money will go to Greece,’ he said. ‘It is that simple.’
Rutte said there were mitigating circumstances. Any money for Greece will not affect the Dutch budget and there will not need to be any additional cuts in public spending.
The prime minister said he is still not ruling out a Greek exit from the euro.
In a reaction to Rutte’s comments, Labour leader Diederik Samsom, whose party is in coalition with Rutte’s right-wing liberal VVD, said he was relieved there is a deal, website nu.nl reports. ‘It is a heavily fought deal and we realise how much work still needs to be done to reach a common course for Europe.’
Parliament will break its recess to debate the new rescue package, which still has to be accepted by all the EU countries, on Wednesday afternoon.
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