Finance Min: Unemployment, outstanding debt still problematic

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Dutch economic performance is moving towards the forefront of the Eurozone, said Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem in response to positive statements from the central bank (DNB) essentially declaring an end to the economic crisis in the Netherlands. However, high levels of unemployment and outstanding household debt still remain large problems for society and the economy, the minister said in an interview with DFT.

The Netherlands is recovering faster than most other countries in the euro area, the central bank affirmed on Monday. Low interest rates and a depreciated euro are contributing to a better recovery.

"But I'm still not satisfied. Unemployment is still high, households have debts; the country has a much higher debt than before the crisis. We have to clean up the mess of the crisis, and from there real growth is needed," he said.

Dijsselbloem went on to emphasize the needs to balance the budget and reduce the level of national debt.

The government will also spend five billion euros to kickstart the economy as part of its proposed tax reform, according to the calculation of the DNB, but the money will not simply be given to businesses or the citizenry. Dijsselbloem believes that these reforms should reduce the tax burden on workers. The government still needs to receive support from several opposition parties to launch the reform.

Dijsselbloem's second-in-command, State Secretary Eric Wiebes, is developing an outline proposal, and the two will have a concrete plan ready for presentation by budget day, known locally as Prinsjesdag, set for September 15.