Dutch Say Better to Remove Greece From Euro Than Extend Loans, Poll Shows
A majority of Dutch respondents to a poll published today said it would be better to remove countries including Greece from the euro zone, rather than continuing to support them.
This view was supported by 54 percent of people surveyed in a poll by researchers Maurice de Hond and No Ties BV, published on their website. As many as 60 percent of the participants said the Netherlands “should stop lending money to other euro zone countries now.”
Lawmakers responsible for finance are cutting their vacations short to question Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager on the size of the Dutch contribution to a second Greek bailout package on Aug. 16.
The European Union and International Monetary Fund on July 21 agreed to a 159 billion-euro ($227 billion) package that includes 50 billion euros from bondholders. Rutte created confusion by telling reporters after the meeting the total amount was 109 billion euros, including the private sector contribution.
He said last week he plans to apologize to parliament for the confusion he created, without withdrawing his calculations, which he said related to Greece’s funding needs until 2014 instead of 2020.
Lawmakers may ask for a second, plenary, meeting on Aug. 17 to vote on motions submitted by them in which they request the government to take certain actions, or to express discontent.
The government formally doesn’t have to ask parliament for approval for the new support package for Greece, or an amendment to the European Financial Stability Facility framework agreement, De Jager said in a letter dated Aug. 8, adding he will discuss the matters with them anyway.
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