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The Eurozone Crisis from a Dutch Perspective

By Clogsandtulips @clogsandtulips

The Eurozone Crisis from a Dutch PerspectiveThe ongoing crisis affecting both European banks and EU states continues to dominate broadsheet pages. But what of the Dutch perspective regarding these troubles? Peter Lavelle, a foreign exchange broker at Pure FX weighs in.
Good morning!
Tis hard to open a broadsheet at the moment without stumbling upon the Eurozone crisis.
Shares in French and other European banks for instance have tumbled owing to exposure to Greece debt, while politicians continue to fumble for a solution. This morning meanwhile MPs in the German Bundestag are set to vote regarding expanding the Eurozone rescue fund – the EFSF – so to disburse more funds to indebted Greece.
But what of the Dutch perspective regarding this crisis?
The broadsheets tend to focus on the heavyweights - German Chancellor Merkel and French President Sarkozy for instance. In fact though the Eurozone crisis is having a huge impact both inside Netherlands politics and regarding its place on the international stage.
Inside the Netherlands
Inside the Netherlands the crisis is arguably proving most beneficial to Geert Wilders.
Wilders is the head of extreme right-wing group Party for Freedom and a noted anti-Islamist (he has compared the Quran to Mein Kampf and was once banned from entering Britain owing to his stance.) His party is the lynch-pin in Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte’s moderate right coalition – enabling Rutte to pass bills without turning to left-wing opposition.
However Wilders (like 60.0% of the Dutch population according to a recent poll) opposes expanding the EFSF Eurozone rescue fund. This is unlike prime minister Rutte – forcing him to request Labour votes to pass pro-Eurozone policies.
Hence each time prime minister Rutte passes a pro-EU bill – such as agreeing to expand the EFSF rescue fund - Wilder gains in popularity all the while retaining his position inside the ruling coalition. The ruling moderate right government meanwhile loses credibility.
Hence - to some extent at least - the Eurozone crisis in the Netherlands is proving most beneficial to a leading anti-Islamist.
On the International Stage
On the international stage meanwhile, Dutch contributions reflects a strong desire that all EU members adhere to the same rules.
Prime minister Rutte for instance has expressed frustration that continued bailouts all but reward Greece for its fiscal indiscipline (though of course, exposure among European banks to Greece mean it cannot be allowed to default.)
This explains a recent proposal from Rutte (alongside Dutch finance minister Jan Kees de Jager) to establish an EU Financial Commissioner: with powers including imposing budget changes on nations that fail to meet fiscal targets. For instance this could mean that the French or Finnish government set out its budget (including increased spending in welfare for instance) but be overruled.
Suffice to comment such proposals are undemocratic in the extreme - but reflect huge frustration among Dutch politicians that the Netherlands must continue to contribute funds to irresponsible nations.
Looking Forward
Looking ahead it is difficult to see the present situation changing.
The Dutch prime minister is likely to maintain calls that Greece be held to financial account (moreso since Greece is receiving funds from other countries) while increasing resentment to the bailouts is set to aid anti-Euro politicians including Wilder. So the future could be better!
About Pure FX

  • A UK based company, registration number 5990857.
  • A registered Money Service Business regulated by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, registration number 12253231.
  • Directly authorised by the FSA 504354 and also a member of the UK Money Transmitters Association.
  • Regulated under the Data Protection Act for the processing of information relating to individuals and businesses, registration number Z9876027. 
  • Our principle Bank is Lloyds TSB and we have a designated ‘client account’ for client transactions.

Peter Lavelle
Pure FX Ltd
Telephone +44 (0) 1494 671800
Fax +44 (0) 1494 675593
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.purefx.co.uk/
Pure FX is authorised by the Financial Services Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2009 (504354) for the provision of payment services

Photo: Images_of_Money, Flickr
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