Opening Quotes – Irony European style

FT: “Dutch Government falls after budget talks”

Ohhhhhhhhhhh – the irony? How about the reality.

 The fall of Mr Rutte’s government is ironic because the Dutch were among the most vociferous supporters of strict budget limits during negotiations over Europe-wide fiscal reforms at Brussels summits last year.

Meanwhile, Dutch analysts said the inability of even the prosperous, deficit-averse Netherlands to generate voter support for Europe-directed budget cuts called the sustainability of the EU fiscal pact into question.

“Enforcing [the pact] would always be difficult. Punishing countries is a naive concept,” said Arnoud Boot, a professor of finance at the University of Amsterdam.

Mr Boot said fiscal harmonisation would be possible once the European economy returns to normal growth, but that trying to execute it in times of crisis causes “undue pain, which would lead to too much opposition to EU enforcement”.

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