Eurozone expulsion 'ultimate sanction': Dutch PM

9th September 2011, Comments 2 comments

Excluding countries which did not adhere to Europe's stability pact from the eurozone should be the "ultimate sanction", but it did not mean Greece, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Friday.

"You must indeed have the ultimate sanction," Rutte said at a weekly press briefing in The Hague, referring to proposals by the Dutch government to ensure that eurozone countries comply with stability pact measures.

But Rutte said "it's about the long term, not about Greece. These are suggestions about countries which in future cannot comply with requirements."

"It will also affect the Netherlands if Greece topples over," Rutte said adding "we cannot do it with Greece, because we have gone too far already."

Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager also Friday said a forced exit from the eurozone would be "the ultimate consequence" and he did not believe that matters for any country would go that far.

"We go out from the principle that it would not go that far," De Jager was quoted as saying to the media after a cabinet meeting.

Rutte called on Wednesday for an independent European commissioner to ensure countries stayed in line with the stability pact's rules, including through imposing sanctions.

The liberal leader's comments come after controversial Dutch rightwing politician Geert Wilders earlier Friday called for the immediate exclusion of Greece from the eurozone.

"No words but deeds," Wilders said on Twitter. "Rutte must not just call for countries to be kicked out, but exclude Greece now," said the leader of the far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) which lends its crucial support to Rutte's right-leaning coalition government in the Dutch parliament.

© 2011 AFP

2 Comments To This Article

  • Anon posted:

    on 10th September 2011, 21:57:55 - Reply

    The Dutch have historically been known as tolerant and open minded people. Since the popularity of parties like the so-called "Freedom Party" a portion of the Dutch seem to have become far more prone to nationalistic rhetoric.

    For all of Greece's mistakes, it certainly isn't very European of the Dutch PM to openly suggest expulsion of another EU nation. Would New York suggest Californian should be ejected from the US for its debt problems?

    If anything perhaps the current Dutch PM should consider asking himself if the Netherlands should leave the EU instead? If his concern here is only the short term nationalist interest of the Netherlands that certainly isn't a European outlook.

    I think the Dutch need to do a little soul searching to decide if they really prefer a Geert Wilders type of ultra nationalist Netherlands or a more open progressive European outlook that is willing to work through bad times as well as good. I would say the latter is better matches Dutch values historically but only the Dutch people can decide that.
  • Horseshack posted:

    on 9th September 2011, 20:32:30 - Reply

    Can they also throw out countries whose governments open advocate racism, xenophobia and abrogating the rights of groups they don't like?