Dutch Labour party says no to new budget cuts

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Several candidates for the leadership of the Dutch Labour party have announced that they will not support further government spending cuts.

The move threatens the European Union's new fiscal pact requiring the Netherlands to reduce its budget deficit to less than 3 percent next year.

The Dutch minority cabinet relies on the opposition Labour Party to get euro zone measures through parliament; the VVD-CDA minority cabinet normally get its legislation through parliament with support from the far right Freedom Party. However, the Freedom Party is anti-Europe and refuses to back such legislation.

Labour Party MP Ronald Plasterk, one of the leading contenders to take the party's top job, says the Netherlands needs more time to reduce its budget deficit, saying "we are against cutting €15 billion next year." He also pointed out that leading economists believe further budget cuts will only cost jobs and damage the economy.

The Labour revolt is not likely to spell defeat for the European Treaty as EU leaders agreed it will come into effect once 12 states have ratified it.


©Radio Netherlands Worldwide jric

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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