Netherlands among countries emerging most strongly from the crisis, Dutch PM says
The Netherlands might be one of the first countries in the western world to recover from the coronavirus crisis, Dutch Prime Minister Rutte suggested. "We have that chance, it will be an exciting race, but at least we are in the leading group," Rutte said after the European Council meeting in Brussels, according to ANP.
Rutte said the Netherlands was "in a very good shape" despite the serious consequences of the ongoing health crisis. This was largely due to the billions in coronavirus aid packages quickly set up last year, and the quickening pace of the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out, Rutte said.
The next stage will be aided by the 5.6 billion euros earmarked for the Netherlands out of the EU's 672.5 billion euro coronavirus recovery fund. The current caretaker Cabinet has refrained from submitting its plan about spending the money to the EU, opting instead to hand that task over to the next Cabinet.
However, 100 days since the election, and the 19 political factions in the Tweede Kamer are no closer to forming a coalition government. They have already worked with two different sets of formation scouts, and two different informateurs assisting the process.
"But that doesn't matter at all because that money is just there," said Rutte. When asked about what would be done if the formation talks are taking too long, Rutte said “we would look into it”.
The leaders of 27 EU member states discussed the economic situation in Europe in Brussels this week. They agreed that the recovery process seemed to be moving faster than expected.
It was mostly thanks to the swiftly implemented support to financially prop up businesses and the fast vaccine rollout, they concluded.