Dutch finance minister still doubtful about eurozone budget

Photo: Rijksoverheid

Germany has not been able to dispel ‘fundamental’ Dutch doubts about the necessity for a eurozone budget, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Friday.

The eurozone spending plan proposed by Germany and France is meant to help promote greater convergence and help stabilise countries against future economic shocks.

Thursday’s talk with German finance minister Olaf Scholz was aimed at getting Dutch finance minister Wopke Hoekstra on board after he said earlier he did not see how the plan would benefit the Dutch people.

According to Hoekstra, Scholz left many questions unanswered regarding governance, the way the mechanism will work and how much money it will require.

‘A fundamental question remains what problem the eurozone budget will solve and how it will function in relation to other financial instruments,’ the FD quotes Hoekstra as saying.

The minister said he would rather the EU concentrate on the ‘crucial’ reform of the permanent emergency fund ESM, which he said is the instrument to be used for shoring up economies in trouble, and a speeding up of the banking union, the FD writes.

France and Germany hope the new budget will be in place by 2021. As well as in the Netherlands, concerns remain in a number of other countries including the Nordic and Baltic states, Austria and Finland, the Financial Times reported earlier.

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