Government pledges transparency on Greece

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The Dutch government has promised to keep parliament informed on a weekly basis about negotiations for the Greece bail-out. Prime Minister Mark Rutte has been under fire from the opposition since his return from holidays more than a week ago because of confusing figures he presented in July.

The Dutch Labour Party PvdA suggested that Mr Rutte’s minority coalition government deliberately misled the house, in order to appease Geert Wilder’s Freedom Party PVV, a government partner which supports the coalition government on most issues in parliament. The far-right PVV is against giving any form of financial support to Greece.

Mr Rutte’s explanation is that his figure of 109 billion referred to the situation up until 2014, while his European counterparts were using 2020 as the cut-off. MPs are also outraged by what is perceived to be a secret deal between Finland and Greece, where Greece would deposit a billion euros – of EU money – in a bank account as a guarantee for Finland should it default on re-paying its loan.

In a letter to the Lower House on Monday, Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager stressed that there can be no binding Finnish-Greek agreement without endorsement from all EU countries.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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