SP Senators vote against European emergency fund

12 October 2011

SP Senators vote against European emergency fund

The SP group in the Senate has voted against the further raising of the European emergency fund by the sum of €42 billion. With the money the government hopes to be able to combat the financial and economic crisis in the European Union, but according to SP Senator Geert Reuten ministers are unable to say when and for what purpose moneys from the funds can be drawn. ‘You don’t agree a mortgage contract without clear conditions,’ Senator Reuten points out. ‘And you do that in order to avoid trouble.’

Geert ReutenA majority in the Senate approved the multi-billion injection, with only the SP, Christian Union, the Animals’ Party and the right-wing populist PVV voting against. Senator Reuten was critical of what he described as ‘overhasty decision-making’. The necessary new law was presented to the Senate last Thursday and only a few hours before the debate Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager asked for urgent treatment of the colossal guarantee, which according to Reuten is “the biggest supplementary budget ever.”

De Jager is not prepared to offer any information regarding the possible scenarios for tackling the crisis which he and his European colleagues are developing. Whatever else, he absolutely refuses to consider whether it may at some point become necessary to bring the entire banking sector under the supervision of the state, or to give any opinion in response to the SP’s argument that ordinary banking activities should be divorced from speculative banking. Nor does he exclude the possibility that the emergency fund will need to be increased still further and that there could be a need for yet more Dutch billions. The fund will be used, amongst other things, to support banks which fall into difficulties, yet the minister will say nothing about which banks in which countries this may involve. As for the conditions under which the money from the funds may be deployed, these remain to be negotiated between the member states’ governments, with the Dutch and other national parliaments being entirely out of the game. “With nothing but your blue eyes to inspire trust,” Reuten told the minister, “this is going too far for me. We can’t do our work as representatives of the people properly if we have too little information and too little time. That’s why we are saying no.”

You are here