Dutch deficit below 3 percent in 2013

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An audit by the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis has calculated that the so-called Spring Agreement between the conservative VVD, Christian Democrats, democrat D66, Green Left and Christian Union parties will bring the budget deficit below three percent.

The package of austerity measures was negotiated within two days between the two coalition parties - the VVD and CDA - and three opposition parties, after the fall of the government following seven weeks of talks with the Freedom Party. Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders walked out of the talks just a few days before the European deadline for the Dutch to present their plans for billions of euros of cuts.

D66, the Green Left and the Christian Union brokered a deal with Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager to get the deficit under the strict European norm, which the minister himself strongly advocates. According to the Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, the deficit in 2013 will be 2.9 percent, just under the three percent requirement.

According to the bureau, improvements will continue after 2013, with a predicted deficit of 2.6 percent at the end of the next government term in 2017.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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