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Daily Dutch News in English

Netherlands Ranks Fittest Country In Europe

The Netherlands ranks one of the fittest country in Europe, based on the EU’s six-pack scoreboard.

The Netherlands scored well on 8 out of 10 criteria, on the six-pack scoreboard, missing on just private sector debt and house prices.

UBS analyst Amit Kara said the Netherlands is another economy doing reasonably well, and it is benefiting from being a trade center. Their private sector debt is high, and though its government debt is above 60 percent, that is a stringent criteria, and given that it is one of Europe’s bigger economies, they have a pretty strong scorecard.

The EU announced a set of measures dubbed the ‘six-pack’, to help deal with the crisis and encourage economic and fiscal integration. The ‘six-pack‘ is made up of five regulations and one directive, with a focus on government debt and deficits.

UBS analyst Amit Kara says the six-pack is a step in the right direction, but the focus is on fiscal problems:

The fundamental worry is that the crisis we’re suffering from now is not going to be helped by these six pack measures. The focus is very largely on fiscal issues, excessive credit expansion and asset bubbles, but parts of the euro area face prolonged periods of stagnation, possible deflation and in some cases, such as Greece, there is risk of complete collapse – these measures are not designed to address that.”

Kara looked through the ’10 early warning indicators’ that the EU pointed out, to give us a sense of which countries are in the best shape. Remember, the European Commission has said it plans on taking full advantage of the six-pack rules and countries that consistently breach them risk facing sanctions and fines.

Source: UBS