Dutch MEP Derk Jan Eppink has launched a stunning attack on the Prime Minister of The Netherlands Mark Rutte after he agreed to the bailout package
Dutch MEP Derk Jan Eppink has launched a stunning attack on the Prime Minister of The Netherlands Mark Rutte after he agreed to the bailout package for the EU27 member states amid the economic crisis on the continent. Derk Jan Eppink said the €750bn package – which includes €390bn worth of grants to be sent to poorer countries and southern nations hit hardest by the pandemic – will impact Dutch nationals.
The 61-year-old condemned the EU and insisted it saw The Netherlands as a “cash machine” and said Mr Rutte had “sold out his citizens”.
He added: “Rutte has yielded to pressure and accepted a higher EU budget and more European taxes.”
Derk Jan Eppink has demanded a referendum on the financial package after warning pensions would also be cut.
He said: “In the end, the Netherlands is just throwing in the towel.
“The Dutch pensions are going to be cut back and that’s very bitter for people and people won’t understand that.
“Therefore I would call for a referendum in the Netherlands on this redistribution plan where we’re cutting Dutch pensions in order to beef up pensions in other countries. Let people vote.”
Geert Wilders, leader of the far-right group Party for Freedom, said Mr Rutte had “gone to his knees” and described the package as a “390 billion euro gifts for Southern Europe”.
The Netherlands is part of the so called “frugal four” with fellow northern states Austria, Denmark and Sweden, which had initially opposed allowing €500bn worth of grants.
Nations hit hardest by COVID-19, including Italy and Spain, were not willing to go below €400bn, as talks threatened to break down over the weekend.
Following four days and four nights of tense discussions, a compromise of €390bn was reached after Mr Rutte won an emergency brake to temporarily stop payments if an EU member was seen as not meeting reform conditions.
The “frugal four” also secured larger rebates from the next EU budget – a €1.1bn package between 2021-2027 – something French President Mr Macron is thought to have wanted to phase out after Britain left the bloc.
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President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen described the deal as “historic” during a speech to the European Parliament on Thursday.
She said: “The big winner of this summit are the new own resources
“We have now a unanimous agreement on the need for new own resources.
“And this is a huge and historic step forward for our union, which both the Commission and the parliament have long been pushing for.”
(Additional reporting by Maria Ortega)