Dutch Finance Minister’s candidature for Chair of Eurogroup ‘contrary to country’s interests’

9 January 2013

Dutch Finance Minister’s candidature for Chair of Eurogroup ‘contrary to country’s interests’

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel is completely opposed to the candidature of the country’s Finance Minister, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, for the position of Chair of the Eurogroup, fearing that the chances of the Netherlands being able to take a hard line in negotiations in Brussels would be seriously weakened if he were elected. ‘It would make it a bit more difficult for him to hold the line if at the same time, in his position as Chair, he would have to be seen to be seeking a compromise, Van Bommel points out. ‘His nomination will lead to less room for manoeuvre for the Netherlands in the European negotiations game. So this candidature is completely contrary to Dutch interests.’

Harry van BommelVan Bommel is referring in particular the wish to reduce the Netherlands’ contribution to the EU or the possible need in the near future to argue for a more flexible application of the EU budget rules. The SP European Affairs spokesman is also concerned as to whether Dijsselbloem will be able to continue to perform his duties a Minister of Finance, pointing out that ‘the current incumbent, Jean-Claude Juncker, by his own account spends almost four hours per day on his work as Chair. He can do that only because he has been doing the job for seven years and comes from a small country which has had, moreover, relatively few problems as a result of the crisis. It’s incredible that Dijsselbloem believes that this is a suitable moment to accept a job moonlighting from his ministerial post.’

If it were up to the SP, Dijsselbloem’s nomination would be dropped. The party is seeking an immediate debate with the Minister in which he will be asked to explain his reasons for considering that he should accept the appointment as Chair.

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