Yesterday it was announced that the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Denmark reject the Franco-German recovery plan after the corona crisis. The “miserly four” as they are called scornful by the rest of the EU are coming up with an alternative. De Volkskrant writes about this.
“We cannot accept instruments or measures that lead to the accumulation of joint debt or a substantial increase in the EU budget,” write the four countries.
Their plan follows the proposal presented by Chancellor Merkel and French President Macron on Monday, stating that the European Commission will borrow 500 billion euros on the capital market. Those billions go to the hardest-hit countries as gifts. The debt is repaid by all Member States. That amounts to 25 to 30 billion euros for the Netherlands.
It is a variant of the controversial corona bonds and so the Netherlands does not agree. Together with Sweden, Denmark and Austria, our country is coming up with an alternative plan that states that the new European multi-year budget should be spent primarily on economic recovery, at the expense of agricultural subsidies and contributions to poorer regions. The four countries want a temporary recovery fund consisting of loans under strict conditions: reforms, sound budgetary policies and a stronger healthcare sector are required.
So the heels go deep into the sand. On Wednesday, the European Commission will make a proposal that is likely to be similar to the Franco-German plan. But since all countries have veto power in the financial field and the Netherlands has shown little compassion with its fellow Europeans in this entire corona crisis, agreement will not be reached quickly.
Meanwhile, even loyal ally Germany has gradually had enough of the rigid, less empathetic attitude of the Netherlands and co. Merkel already spoke about “childlike behavior” by Prime Minister Mark Rutte during the last EU summit.