Dutch parliament mostly positive about Greece debt relief deal

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Jeroen Dijsselbloem (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl). Jeroen Dijsselbloem (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl)

The lower house of Dutch parliament mostly approves of the agreements the Euro-countries reached on debt relief for Greece, NU.nl reports after talking to the parliamentary parties.

During the early hours of Wednesday morning the European Finance Ministers agreed to give Greece the debt relief it needs in the short term - a requirement the International Monetary Fund made for its contribution in supporting Greece. The country will also a loan from the third aid package promised last summer. According to Eurogroup president and Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Greece fulfilled the conditions, including cutbacks, set for this money.

The first part of the 10.3 billion euro loan, 7.5 billion euros, will be paid to the Greeks by mid June. They can use this money to pay  number of big debts. The next payment will be made after the summer if Greece meets a number of set conditions. "That means the program is back on track. We're making progress", Dijsselbloem said.

The PvdA and D66 support this agreement. "With this work can be continued on the economic recovery and social perspective for the Greek people", PvdA MP Henk Nijboer said to NU. D66 parliamentarian Wouter Koolmees added: "Strengthening the Greek economy through reforms in return for debt relief is in line with what the D66 always advocated for. This creates a perspective for the Greeks after difficult years."

The VVD is happy that the Greek's debt was not cancelled. "It is good that Greece is forced to simply make all the cuts and reforms that they already promised to do." parliamentarian Mark Harber said. "It is also good that Greece adopted a law that makes cutbacks automatic if Greece again wanders off the path. This is important because the eurozone then will have less worries about the sustainability of the debt."

The SP is more hesitant. "Much is still unclear, but it seems that there is somewhat more realism in the euro countries than in the past summer, when they with wishful thinking made far too rosy predictions" parliamentarian Arnold Merkies said to NU. "It had long been clear that Greece would not reach the then hoped for budget goals. There seems to be movement, but it s all 'too little too late'."

ChristenUnie is completely unenthusiastic about the deal. "Another loan to the Greeks, with a limited debt relief: it is prescribing the same recipe, of which it's been clear for five years that it doesn't work", MP Carola Schouten said. "There will be some debt relief, but it's too little too late. Let the Greeks continue outside the eurozone and cancel with that some of the debt." According to her, this would allow the Greeks to work at their own pace and in their own way towards strengthening their economy without loans dragging them down.

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