Tuesday 07 April 2020

Dutch MPs back minister on coronabonds, but criticise his blunt approach

Dutch MPs back minister on coronabonds, but criticise his blunt approach

A majority of MPs have supported the cabinet’s opposition to issuing coronabonds as a way of paying for the corona crisis during a debate with finance minister Wopke Hoekstra on Tuesday. Some southern countries see the bonds, which would be backed by all members of the eurozone, as a way of spreading the burden more equitably across the EU. But finance minister Wopke Hoekstra infuriated Spain and Italy last week with his blunt rejection of the idea and his suggestion... More >

Dutch propose EU corona medical fund

The Netherlands has proposed establishing an EU emergency fund to cover the immediate health costs associated with the coronavirus outbreak and, according to Trouw, is prepared to contribute around €1bn. The fund, prime minister Mark Rutte said during Wednesday’s debate in parliament, would be filled by contributions by member states and would be a ‘gift to those in need’ rather than a loan or a guarantee. ‘This country stands in solidarity with countries that are also hard hit, some even... More >

NL will help, fin min tells southern EU

Dutch finance minister Wopke Hoekstra has admitted that ministers have not shown sufficient empathy towards southern European countries which are grappling with coronavirus. Hoekstra and prime minister Mark Rutte have both been heavily criticised for a lack of solidarity to fellow EU countries who are struggling to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. A group of Italian mayors, regional governors and one MEP even bought a page in German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in which they accuse the Netherlands of not... More >

Seasonal workers are being forgotten

The corona crisis affects everyone, not least of which the thousands of Polish and other temporary workers in the Netherlands. They are now losing their jobs and their homes, and are being excluded from financial bail-out schemes. No-one is listening to their cry for help, writes Malgorzata Bos-Karczewska. Stories about EU labour migrants in the Netherlands are always driven by economics. The current big question makes this all too clear: If the Poles don’t come, nobody will harvest the asparagus.... More >

Dutch farmers may lose battle for workers

Dutch farmers are afraid of losing seasonal labourers to Germany and Belgium because of relaxed tax rules in those countries and tough legislation in the Netherlands, the Financieele Dagblad reports. The German government is trying to soften the impact of the corona crisis on agriculture by allowing seasonal labourers already in the country to remain there for longer without paying premiums. Belgium too is relaxing its rules. Dutch farmers, who are preparing to harvest strawberries and asparagus, are worried Germany... More >

Dutch remain opposed to eurobonds

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... More >

Dutch close airports to planes from Spain

The Netherlands has closed its airports to planes from Spain unless they are carrying Dutch nationals on their return journey or medical supplies and patients. The ban, imposed on Saturday night, will last for 14 days, and comes after the Netherlands added Spain to its list of high-risk countries alongside China, Italy, Iran and South Korea. More than 100,000 Dutch nationals spend the winter in southern Spain, many of whom have already left. There are also several thousand holidaymakers currently... More >