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Daily Dutch News in English

Netherlands working actively to tackle crisis

Prime Minister Mark Rutte issued a statement on the European debt crisis following the weekly Cabinet meeting last Friday. He stressed that the EU member states need to put their financial houses in order by implementing the measures agreed at the European summit of 26 October. ‘Any country that fails to keep its word is endangering the others,’ said the Prime Minister.

The Netherlands is working hard to drive this message home, said Mr Rutte. Finance minister Jan Kees de Jager for example was in Berlin on Friday to discuss the problem with his German and Finnish counterparts. European affairs minister Ben Knapen will be talking in Athens to the Greeks.

Mr Rutte has talked to European Council President Herman van Rompuy and will soon be visiting Italy’s new Prime Minister Mario Monti. ‘And this will doubtless be a major topic at my meeting with US President Obama,’ said the Prime Minister.
Confidence in the eurozone

The European Commission presented several proposals last week that should contribute to bolstering the financial markets’ confidence in the eurozone and foster calm and financial stability.

Prime Minister Rutte said that the Commission’s proposals are in line with the ideas that the Netherlands presented in September, such as sharper monitoring of budgets and appointment of a European Commissioner charged with this task.

Mr Rutte said he would be glad to see measures that went a step further: ‘We would like to see enforceable sanctions against countries that systematically flout the rules and let countries that do have their financial house in order foot the bill.’