We're fine, Dutch Finance Minister says
Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager has refused to speculate on additional budget cuts following the deepening of the financial market crisis.
Arriving in The Hague for the first cabinet meeting after the summer recess, Mr De Jager told reporters that he would first like to see what the authoritative Bureau for Economic Policy CPB is saying about the financial situation.
The first task facing the cabinet is designing the budget for next year. Early measures have made life a little easier for the Netherlands, Minister De Jager suggested, saying "We're in the upper echelon of the euro zone, thanks to the cuts and reforms which we implemented".
Billions Responding to opposition criticism that the cabinet had been invisible while the crisis developed, Minister De Jager said that ministers had been in frequent contact, and that it was not helpful to seek publicity all the time. Deputy Prime Minister dismissed the criticism as mere "hollow words".
The Dutch Lower House is returning early from its summer recess for a debate on Tuesday. Opposition parties have summoned Prime Minister Mark Rutte for an explanation of his statements following the European summit which decided on a bail-out for Greece. What he said was confusing, MPs said.
At the time Mr Rutte said the Greeks were to get no more than 109 billion euros support, of which 50 billion would be supplied by banks and insurers. It later turned out that the amount was 159 billion: 109 from the European Union plus 50 from the banks.
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