In the debate in the Lower House about the EU agreements on the Corona Recovery Fund, Prime Minister Rutte received a lot of criticism. Some parties think he has given too much money and power to the EU, others think he has been too strict. But there are plenty of parties that support Rutte.
That is not the PVV and Forum for Democracy. They believe that Rutte has wrongly agreed to billions of euros for the ‘poor’ member states. The parties came up with a motion of no confidence, which could not count on a majority. “I’ve had it with this prime minister“, said PVV leader Wilders. “It’s driving me crazy.”
Fvd-forman Baudet wondered why the EU countries are jointly borrowing money to deal with the problems of the corona crisis, and not every country for itself. A large part of the borrowed money ends up in countries like Spain and Italy. “The United States of Europe have come another step closer,” he said.
The SGP believes that the EU countries will saddle future generations with a “huge mountain of debt”. “And the repayment of those debts will take until 2058. 2058!” said Member of Parliament Bishop. Also 50Plus thinks that the debt that the Netherlands will have to pay is a big problem.
Prime Minister Rutte admitted that he had to add water to the wine. For example, part of the recovery fund is given to countries as gifts or subsidies, rather than in the form of loans. Rutte thinks this is defensible because the Netherlands would suffer economically if Spain and Italy were to go badly.
“And it is in the interest of the Netherlands if there is a stable EU, given the power blocks of the United States and China,” he said. “We live with our small, prosperous country in an uncertain world. And we can’t do it on our own.”
For D66 Rutte could have shown more of a ‘pro-EU face’. “There were months of struggle,” said MP Sjoerdsma. “But the Prime Minister stepped over his shadow and that deserves a compliment.”
GroenLinks is also “actually quite happy” with the recovery fund. But MP Van Ojik, like the PvdA, is critical of the Netherlands’ tough and thrifty stance in the negotiations.
VVD and CDA are quite satisfied, because countries will only receive a gift or loan if they reform economically so that they can stand on their own two feet in the future. The parties are also happy with the ’emergency brake’, if it does indeed mean that in the event of a difference of opinion, the Netherlands can stop a gift or a loan.
“That’s a political agreement,” Rutte said to these parties. A country that wants to block something has to substantiate that.
Rutte also thinks it is important that countries that want a loan should not only improve their economy, but also their human rights situation and their democracy and rule of law. Countries like Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria can then be looked at more strictly. “And this fund is a one-off,” Rutte assured the Chamber.