Wilders: "Slavish adherence to European rules is foolish"
So, another European government collapses at the behest of the EU. To be fair, the Dutch coalition was always a fragile entity, composed, as it was, of a Liberal-Christian Democrat partnership led by Mark Rutte, with ad hoc support from the 'far right' Freedom Party of Geert Wilders'. But this partnership did not fracture over immigration policy or fragment over Islamism: the downfall was Mammon. Or, to be precise, Euro-Mammon.
Having strongly supported the EU's fiscal union treaty, and having urged that Greece be subject to EU governance for failing to implement the necessary spending cuts, the Dutch government really had to set an example of good housekeeping. But with 57 per cent of Dutch voters opposed to the prescribed austerity measures, Mr Wilders withdrew his support from Mr Rutte’s government, accusing him of a 'slavish adherence to European rules' which will 'bleed' the people. The measures were to include raising VAT, a freeze on civil servants’ wages, and a cut in spending in both the health and development aid sectors to slash €16bn from the budget. "The plan is not in the interest of (Freedom Party) voters,” Mr Wilders declared.“We cannot live up to the demands Brussels is putting on us. Money is being taken from the wallets of pensioners.”
It's a nifty switch from anti-Islam to anti-EU. With a general election now inevitable, the Freedom Party may well make gains on their current 24 members (which was already double their previous parliamentary representation). And the more the European Commission repeat their insensitive demands for the Dutch government to balance the budget in line with euro spending rules (ie a budget deficit below 3 per cent of GDP), the more popular will the cause of freedom become, and the higher the Freedom Party will poll. It really isn't psephological rocket science.
And now all the talk is (once again) of Eurogeddon (yawn) with the loss of the country's AAA-rating and increased borrowing costs, for if those nations which signed up for the fiscal union (including, indeed, EEC foundation states) are not able to be fiscally united by democratic consent, then what hope is there for the treaty? But fear not, for the Euro has overcome the world, and neither Holland nor Hollande shall prevail against it.