Newspapers: Ukraine referendum results “an embarrassment,” “a dilemma”
On Thursday morning Dutch newspapers described the preliminary results of the Ukraine referendum - 61 percent against with a voter turnout of 32 percent - as "an embarrassment", "a dilemma" and a "recipe for discontent". All agree that the "no" vote means tough times ahead for Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his cabinet. The Telegraaf describes the referendum as "an embarrassment". "The message of the Ministers the past days in the media going on a sale in an effort to convince voters of a 'yes', was beaten to death. Moreover, the government only barely convinced voters to go to the polling stations." According to the Volkskrant, this no-vote is a "recipe for discontent". The newspaper believes the no-camp's victory was aided "by a mixture of disinterest and disgust in the majority of voters". "What is likely is the vicious circle of Euro-skepticism. Because whatever the cabinet does: the 'no' camp will take every European concession as cosmetic polishing, a confirmation of the image that the Netherlands has little more to say. A confirmation too of the feeling that there is every reason to be angry. The referendum gave the anger a voice again, but by no means took the pressure off." The AD believes that the government is facing a "devilish dilemma, which will almost definitely cause tensions". "The PvdA after all previously said not to want to ignore a 'no', while the VVD 'does not want to bow to Putin'. The coalition partner would prefer to disregard the 'no'." Trouw calls the result an 'uncomfortable outcome' for the government. "Uncomfortable because it was a subject that was not really suitable. Uncomfortable because a likely turnout of 32 percent yields a valid result, but the 62 percent no-voters only represents 20 percent of the Dutch."