Monday

22nd Jan 2018

Dutch government unravels over Brussels budget rules

  • Wilders (r) says that Brussels will be his main target if the elections go ahead (Photo: Flickr)

Talks on Brussels-based budget cuts have collapsed in the Netherlands, creating the likelihood of snap elections after the summer recess.

The development came on Saturday (21 April) - after more than seven weeks of fierce behind-the-scenes negotiations - when the eurosceptic PVV party, led by Geert Wilders, withdrew its support for the austerity measures and for the minority government itself.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"We will not accept to have our people bleed at the hands of bureaucrats in Brussels," he told reporters in The Hague.

The Hague is trying to find an extra €10 billion in savings after disappointing forecasts last month showed that it would breach the eurozone's 3 percent deficit rule in 2013.

For his part, Mark Rutte, the liberal Prime Minister, accused Wilders of irresponsibility. "There was a lack of political will on the part of the PVV," he said.

Maxime Verhagen, the leader of the Christian Democrats, a coalition partner, said: "The hope for a strong response to the crisis has been drilled into the ground by Wilders."

What happens next remains uncertain, but Rutte is widely expected to hand in his resignation after the weekend.

"New elections are the logical next step," he noted. The earliest possible timing would be late September or early October.

Rutte added that he will try to find a majority in parliament for next year's budget despite the setback. The draft spending plan is due to be sent to the European Commission for evaluation at the end of April.

Opposition groups have indicated they might do a deal, but on their own terms.

"It is the chamber that will take the initiative," said Diederik Samsom, the leader of the social democrats, the biggest opposition party.

If the elections do go ahead, Wilders has indicated that he will make the EU his main target. "Our campaign will be against Brussels, against the euro, and against 3 percent," he said.

Dutch government wobbles over EU budget talks

In what opposition parties have called "a very strange display", the Dutch coalition government on Thursday narrowly managed to avert collapse as it continues to haggle over spending cuts needed to bring it in line with EU budget rules.

News in Brief

  1. Abbas in Brussels to discuss Palestinian state recognition
  2. Exiled Catalan leader leaves Belgium for first time
  3. CSU politicians set to oppose concessions to SPD
  4. Greek mass protests against use of 'Macedonia' in name dispute
  5. Oxfam report reveals inequality as Davos elite gather
  6. Macron: France would probably have voted to quit EU
  7. Germany confirms attendance at air quality summit
  8. Nearly half of 'fixed' Dieselgate cars show problems

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. How would Oettinger's ETS budget transfer work?
  2. New Polish foreign minister tries to charm EU commission
  3. Middle East, Messi and missing MEPs on the agenda This WEEK
  4. Instagram and Google Plus join EU anti-hate speech drive
  5. EU wants 'entrepreneurship' in education systems
  6. UK loses EU satellite centre to Spain
  7. Pay into EU budget for market access, Macron tells May
  8. Ethiopian regime to get EU migrants' names