Brussels Congratulates Netherlands On Agreement
European Commissioner Ollie Rehn (Economical Affairs and Euro) has lauded the Netherlands for the budget agreement, the agreement of government and opposition on the budget of 2014.
Rehn praised the Netherlands at the meeting of the Euro Group, the group of 17 Finance ministers of Europe, which was held in Luxembourg on Monday. He even advised the politicians at the other side of the Atlantic ‘to go Dutch’.
Prior to the meeting Dijsselbloem promised to send the he would send the adjustments on the National Dutch Budget, following the budget agreement, to Brussels. All European countries must submit their budget for 2014 before half October. “The Netherlands has fulfilled that requirement. If because of internal discussions things change, a country has to inform the European Commission. We will do that.”
No criticism of colleagues for Dijsselbloem
Although the French minister of Finance stated earlier that the cancellation of Dijsselbloem for the IMF meeting last week, showed that the Euro Group chairman shouldn’t be a part timer, this issue was not mentioned during the meeting. Germany also thinks that a permanent chairman would be desirable. However nobody had any comments during the meeting about Dijsselbloem’s absence in Washington last week.
Hole of 650 million Dutch budget
There has been some speculation that the budget agreement caused a hole of 650 million euro in the Dutch National Budget. A spokesman of the ministry of Finance confirmed that the 650 million which will be made available for education is not yet covered.
The spokesman added that if it is not possible to find a coverage for the 650 million, the budget deficit will rise with 0.1 percent to 3.3 percent. However, this is not a problem since the European Commission gave the Netherlands ‘some room’ this year.
SGP MP Elbert Dijkgraaf, the financial expert of SGP who has been part of the negotiations last week, says that one can not speak about a hole in the budget. The 650 million is supposed to be covered by revenue windfalls. “In case we are unlucky and they don’t cover the full 650 million, only then we will have a one-time budget deficit because of this post.”
CPB is calculating agreement
Minister Henk Kamp of Economical Affairs has written in a letter to the House that the CPB is making calculations based on the budget agreement. The final numbers will ready on Thursday, but on Wednesday morning, before 10 am, they will submit preliminary numbers.
On Wednesday the financial discussions (about the 2014 budget) will take place in the House. On request of PVV, CDA and SP the House will, prior to these discussions, have a debate about the budget agreement at 10.15 am.