EU Commissioner criticises Dutch cabinet
European commissioner Neelie Kroes thinks the Netherlands should stop criticising Europe. In an interview with , she says the country has benefitted from the European Union and should make that known more often.
Ms Kroes says other European countries and Brussels are annoyed at the tirades of anti-European rhetoric coming from The Hague and says it is damaging the country’s reputation.
The commissioner says the Dutch have benefitted hugely from the open European market referring to reports showing the average Dutchman is 2000 euros a year better off thanks to the Europe Union. She warns that they should not throw that away.
Although she does acknowledge that issues like Greece are a source of irritation, and takes criticism of the European Commission to heart.
In response, Immigration Minister Gerd Leers told a public radio programme Ms Kroes “definitely has point. We are going to work on our tone. That was discussed at a recent cabinet meeting.” At the same time, Mr Leers thinks Europe should understand the Netherlands’ position on Europe. “We have to make our position clear. Other European countries should know that we are asking a lot of people, for instance that they have to work for longer and cuts have to be made. Other European countries should see our concerns. We mustn’t lose the support of the public.”
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