Dutch cabinet tackles Greek bailout confusion
The Dutch government has attempted to dispel confusion about how much the latest financial bailout for Greece will cost the Netherlands. In a letter to parliament on Monday, the cabinet says there are various calculations that can be used to explain the bailout, but there is no difference of opinion within Europe about its content.
MPs were confused by an earlier statement in which Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke of a 109-billion-euro bailout, while his counterparts from other eurozone states referred to a sum of 159 billion euros. Monday's letter, penned by Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager, politely but firmly corrects the Prime Minister's account of the Greek rescue package: the sum of 159 billion does not include the contribution made by the banks, as Mr Rutte's statement suggested.
The finance minister's letter explains how matters are complicated by the involvement of the banking sector and the various timelines associated with the bailout. The government says it has consistently referred to the period until 2014 in helping Greece overcome its acute problems. However, the involvement of the banking sector will extend well beyond that year.
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