Addressing colleagues in the European Parliament, Derk Jan Eppink said Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte had “thrown in the towel” during the controversial European Council budget summit last weekend. The Dutch MEP accused his Prime Minister of failing to negotiate the best interests of people in the Netherlands because he did not have the UK on his side this time around. He called for a referendum in the Netherlands on the EU budget as he claims the agreement will cut Dutch pensions to “beef up” those of other European member states.
He blasted: “The end of the Council was that Mark Rutte threw in the towel.
“What is the result is we ended up in trouble without the UK, we’re going to have European debts which Mr Rutte was always against.
“He talked about emergency breaks procedures but that is a farce.
“There isn’t a plug that you can pull.
“So 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.
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“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.”
Addressing the European Parliament on Thrusday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she was aware the MFF agreed by the Council would be “a pill difficult to swallow” as she called on MEPs to avoid wasting time on their ratification of the deal agreed earlier this week.
Leader of the Euroepan People’s Party Manfred Weber also blasted the agreement and warned the final deal will look very different from the original proposal set out by Mrs Von der Leyen.
He said: “I’m happy about the agreement, no doubt about that, but I’m not happy about the deal.
“We welcome the outcome of the Council meeting but we are living in a parliamentary democracy and that means that the outcome is now arriving in the European Parliament and the rule of all of Europe is that there will be never the same output after a parliamentarian consolation than the input was from the Council side.
“This means not to delay things, because I hear these arguments now around the corridors.
“The big winner of this summit are the new own resources” von der Leyen said in presenting the summit agreement to parliamentarians, who will have to approve it over the coming months.
“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,” she said.
Von der Leyen also stressed that the disbursement of cash from the 750 billion euro recovery package to EU countries was linked to governments observing the rule of law.
She added that she forced to fight off attempts to member states to make even more ravaging cuts to her original proposal.
The German said the seven-year budget, worth €1.074 trillion, is a “bitter pill to swallow” after “regrettable” decisions were taken to slash spending plans.
“There are regrettable and painful decisions on many programmes which have crucial European added-value,” she told the European Parliament.