Dutch parliament backs EU support for Ireland

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In a parliamentary debate, the conservative VVD, the Christian democratic CDA, the Green Left party, the democrat party D66 and the Christian Union all expressed support for the 85-billion-euro EU bail-out plan for Ireland and the 2.7 billion euro in guarantees provided by the Netherlands.

The Labour Party also supported Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager, but only on condition that should Ireland fail to repay its debts - and cause financial damage to the Dutch treasury - the cabinet would do its utmost to spare the lower and middle incomes.

Geert Wilders Freedom Party said it would be a good idea if Ireland temporarily left the eurozone and give a boost to its economy by devaluating the Irish pound. Freedom Party MP Tony van Dijck said his party did not support the cabinet's policy on Ireland but would not send the finance minister home because of it.

Mr Van Dijck said the aid to Ireland exceeded the Netherlands financial capacity, and said he was concerned bankrupt eurozone countries "would drag the Netherlands down with them. We have no intention of footing the bill". The CDA labelled the Freedom Party's position as "consistently irresponsible".



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