Dutch finance minister predicts gloomy 2012
The Netherlands cannot expect to see an economic upturn until 2013, Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager says in an interview with Dutch news website NU.nl.
Mr De Jager says he expects 2012 to be a difficult year both in Dutch politics and for European relations. Opposition criticism of the outcome of EU negotiations is sometimes too simplistic, he says. “You see that the cabinet and the opposition are often in agreement, but it’s partly down to other countries.”
Mr De Jager thinks that future bailouts in the euro zone might focus more on banks than on member states. “Looking far ahead, you can imagine a situation in which not countries are rescued but only banks. We’re now rescuing countries because of the potential risk of contagion in the European banking system.”
The crisis will not blow over in just a few months, Mr De Jager warns. “The problems in Southern Europe are too big for that. They’ve been building up over the past 15 years and you can’t solve them just like that. It took a long time before there was a realisation that intervention was really necessary.”
mb © Radio Netherlands Worldwide
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide