Saturday 15 May 2021

Dutch finance minister objects to some of Brussels proposals for EMU

Photo: Rijksoverheid

Dutch finance minister Wopke Hoekstra regards two of the new pillars under the European Commission’s plans to strengthen economic and monetary as unnecessary, he has told parliament in a briefing.

The European Commission will unveil radical plans for stabilisation of the eurozone next week.

The commission will propose transforming the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), set up during the euro crisis to help countries in need, into a permanent European Monetary Fund (EMF).

While the Dutch government is known to be sympathetic towards that plan it does not agree with the suggestion that the eurozone be given its own budgetary capacity and the introduction of a ‘super minister’ of finance, the Financieele Dagblad said.

In his briefing, Hoekstra says that weak euro countries should be forced to follow the Netherlands’ example and get their economies and government finances in order.

‘The cabinet believes that the working of the EMU can be improved by emphasising sustainable growth and stability,’ the letter states.

Joint mechanisms designed to mitigate financial risks must not serve as a safety net or replace the countries’ own responsibility for getting their finances in order, he said.

The letter, according to the Financieele Dagblad, is couched in diplomatic terms, saying that the commission is ‘too circumspect at the moment’ in compelling budgetary discipline, debt reduction and reforms.

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