Dutch favour commissioner for eurozone stability pact: PM
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called Wednesday for the creation of a European commissioner to specifically ensure that eurozone countries comply with its stability pact.
"We... propose within the European Commission to get a separate commissioner ... which can take steps against countries who do not comply with the agreements," Rutte told the press in The Hague.
"We must go back to a strict regime in which countries which do not comply with agreements are forced to do so," Rutte said but he added: "Finally, countries can always decide to leave the euro. They have that freedom already."
To enforce the stability pact, the liberal prime minister spoke of possible sanctions in the form of a reduction in European funding and a "loss in voting rights." The proposals are outlined in a letter to the Dutch parliament's lower house.
"I want to suggest to countries not to let it go that far," the Dutch top politician said, adding "these are suggestions we are making to other European countries to avoid that type of crisis."
The European Union is currently looking at strengthening sanctions against states which do not show sufficient fiscal discipline -- a measure demanded by some EU members in exchange for their support for plans to help countries in need including Greece.
"At the moment we are putting out fires, like in Greece, but also in Ireland and Portugal," with steps having to be taken to "prevent similar fires breaking out in future," Rutte said.
© 2011 AFP