‘Referendum needed on European economic governance’

24 March 2011

‘Referendum needed on European economic governance’

The SP refused to offer its support to the package of measures giving more powers to Brussels over the economic policies of the EU’s member states. The party is urging a referendum on the treaty amendments which form part of these measures. SP Member of Parliament Ewout Irrgang explains: 'In the pact for the euro what’s proposed is wage moderation, the raising of the pensionable age, and restrictions on state spending. In addition, a system of fines will be instituted for countries which fail to improve their competitive position. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte wants, via Brussels, to set his government’s programme in concrete. The people must be given a voice in this.'

Premier Rutte said in last Wednesday’s debate that it will not be possible for Brussels to insist on specific measures such as wage moderation. In saying this he was misleading Parliament and the people, Irrgang alleges. “Fines imposed because of a lagging competitive position open the door to interference in the entire economic policy of countries in the Eurozone,” he says. “It is an illusion to think that such fines will play no role in achieving the goals of the Pact for the Euro and other far-reaching proposals circulating in Brussels.”

Last November the SP called for a new referendum on the extensive transfer of powers to Brussels. At that time the populist right, the PVV, which has its own problems with such a transfer of powers, was not yet in a position to support the SP’s call, but that has changed. The PVV’s express support brings into sight a majority in favour of a referendum.

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