Euro reaching its final hour, say Dutch CEOs
The time for finding a way out of the euro crisis has reached the eleventh hour. In a letter sent to Dutch newspaper , five captains of Dutch industry have called on European leaders to “show courage and act decisively”. Otherwise, it’s doom day for Europe. by Jacqueline Nolan
The CEOs of Philips, AkzoNobel, Unilever, Shell and DSM - Frans van Houten, Hans Wijers, Paul Polman, Peter Voser and Feike Sijbesma respectively - say only decisive action and resolve can help unite Europe and make it strong again.
“We have to focus on measures to make the Netherlands and Europe more competitive in the global market. Retreating behind the dykes won’t work, but rather, reaching out across borders is the only lasting solution.”
It is crucial to operate beyond political borders, they stated, because of the “enormous economic power shift” towards the emerging economies. “Together with our European partners, we can exercise influence.”
Nationalism ruins prosperity The Netherlands has always been known for being an open and internationally-oriented country with a healthy economy, say the CEOs. They spoke out against the current move towards protectionism and nationalism. “That won’t bring prosperity to our country, but rather, the opposite.”
The CEOs were undoubtedly referring to the nationalist policies of Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party - the third-largest party in the Netherlands – which supports the minority coalition government from parliamentary backbenches.
It’s been 36 years It is almost 36 years since the leaders of Dutch industry spoke out publicly against politicians in a joint letter. Then, they criticised the policies of the progressive, left-wing government, a coalition of five parties – including the so-called ‘progressive religious’ parties - led by the Dutch Labour Party leader Joop den Uyl.
The Den-Uyl cabinet 1973-1977, as it was known as, implemented high taxes on Dutch businesses, which, said the CEOs at the time, crippled economic growth.
Now, in a twist of irony, the captains of Dutch industry are standing up against the shift to the right-wing polities of the present government.
Safeguard culture The CEOs want to see their political leaders “act with resolve, vision and optimism” for the present generation and to “safeguard our culture and prosperity.”
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide