Thursday 09 April 2020

Dutch firm on eurobonds: EU ministers to meet again in two weeks

Photo: DutchNews.nl

The Netherlands is opposed to issuing eurobonds as a way to soften the impact of coronavirus on the worst affected countries, prime minister Mark Rutte told reporters following Thursday’s online meeting of the European Council.

‘I cannot foresee any circumstances in which the Netherlands will accept eurobonds,’ Rutte is quoted as saying. ‘This is against the design of the EMU.’

EU leaders failed during the four-hour meeting to reach agreement about a package of economic support measures to soften the blow coronavirus has dealt to Europe’s economies. They have agreed to meet again in two weeks.

Italy, Spain and France are among the countries keen to issue eurobonds and urged their introduction earlier this week. The Netherlands and Germany are strongly opposed. Both countries are seen as safe investments and enjoy low borrowing costs, and, according to the Financieele Dagblad, they fear that issuing eurobonds will impact on their status.

Spirit

Earlier in the day, commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, criticised member states for looking out for themselves.

‘When Europe really needed an all-for-one spirit, too many initially gave an only-for-me response,’ she said at a meeting of the European parliament.

‘But things are now improving. The free movement of goods and services is the only way to get supplies to where they are needed. Putting barriers between us simply makes no sense. Europe’s citizens will remember the decisions and actions we take today.’

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