Van Bommel: ‘Don’t make Europe into a debt union’

15 October 2012

Van Bommel: ‘Don’t make Europe into a debt union’

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel is urging outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte to cast his veto in Brussels against plans for a ‘Euro-budget’, a European Union ‘national debt’ and an EU finance ministry. These proposals for far-reaching European integration may be brought forward this week, and Van Bommel wants the national parliament to return from recess on Wednesday in order to hold a debate on the matter with the government, which in the interim until a new coalition agreement is reached continues to have the same make up as it did before the elections. In this debate Van Bommel will be seeking guarantees that these proposals will be subject to a Dutch veto at the earliest possible stage of the procedure.

Harry van BommelAccording to Van Bommel plans for a Euro-budget have turned out to be much more radical than people were aware of at the time of last week’s debate. ‘There are plans now to make Europe into a debt union,’ he says. ‘The member states’ debts would become a common European Union debt and Brussels will determine what economic policy member states can pursue in order to
reduce this debt.'

If it were up to European Council president Herman van Rompuy, the Netherlands would become jointly responsible for paying off the debts of other countries while control of the country’s own national budget would be limited. ‘So we could be paying others’ debts yet no longer able to decide independently to invest when the economy badly needs it,’ warns Van Bommel. ‘That is economically unwise and democratically unacceptable.’

Van Bommel fears that if Prime Minister Rutte does not cast a veto, the best the Netherlands will be able to do come December is complain about the consequences. ‘We need to take care that we don’t get dragged into a European debt union by the back door,’ he says. ‘Yet that’s precisely the approach for which as things stand Rutte is opting. He wants to leave his hands free and should be conscious of the risk that in December Parliament will be confronted by a like-it-or-lump-it proposal.’

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