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Dutch voters know austerity follows Wednesday's vote

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Dutch voters know austerity follows Wednesday's vote


Dutch voters are going to the polls on Wednesday in a neck and neck race between the Liberal party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the social democratic Labour Party.

The Netherlands has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe but the jobless figure has been growing fast in recent months.

Many Dutch voters are worried that public sector cuts that were delayed by the fall of the last government in April are inevitable following today’s election.

Unions say deep pension cuts and thousands of job layoffs are being delayed until after the election.

At the Albert Cuyp market in Amsterdam, some voters have been caught up in the rising euroscepticism of recent TV debates.

Stallholder Tamara Roos, who has been supportive of the bailouts for Greece, is tiring of the crisis.

“I think that Greece needs to show willing. We can help a little more but there has to be an end to it sometime,” she said.

One man, a customer of the market, says he has always been anti-Europe.

“I voted against the 2005 referendum on the EU constition but they pushed it through all the same.”

Despite euroscepticism, the Dutch know they need to prepare to tighten their belts further.

Olaf Bruns, our correspondent in Amsterdam says:

“There won’t be a new government soon. In the Netherlands deciding a final coalition is often a protracted affair. At least three parties will be needed. Those negotiations often take many weeks or months.”

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