Hardly any other country in the European Union is as economically successful as the Netherlands: They made Rotterdam the most important hub for all European foreign trade and Schiphol one of the largest EU airports. They sell their greenhouse tomatoes and flowers all over the world and even manage to flood the supermarkets of France with their milk from polderland, which is blessed with incomparably better natural resources.
But the biggest coup was the Christian Democratic Prime Minister Mark Rutte: He is milking the whole EU. As the?
As a pioneer of the “thrifty four” – including the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and Sweden – he succeeded in the negotiations on the EU reconstruction fund in replacing a large part of the planned grants with loans.
Now it turns out that many countries do not want these loans at all: Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Greece, and even the Netherlands have already given up, others are still hesitating. The loans are either too expensive for them or with too many requirements. Rutte now only wants the subsidies – which he tried to prevent in July.
So is the development to be seen as a defeat for Rutte, whose credit strategy became the air number? By no means! Because the cunning Christian Democrat probably did not defend his demand so steadfastly because he was convinced that the loans made sense. He has built up a position that he could buy for dearly.
Sebastian Kurz said: “It was worth it”
All countries willing to agree, especially Germany and France, suspected even before the summit that Rutte wanted EU money. This is how it happened: he was only ready to reach an agreement after receiving a discount of 1.9 billion euros on his country’s EU contribution. The other countries of the “Sparing Four” also received tens of millions of euros. “It was worth it,” said Austria’s Sebastian Kurz.
Do they have to return the money after it turns out that their credit policy has failed? No. The four countries, especially the Netherlands, behaved like free riders, better still: like fare dodgers who force paying passengers to make a donation. But such an act is only punished in real life, not in the EU.
However, this is how the clever four destroy the European Union. Milking others and then turning a blind eye to the consequences is not an acceptable basis for a community like the EU. And the Netherlands and Austria depend on their well-being.
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