Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte threatened to take his country out of the eurozone.
His stance was two years ago over planned reforms which were never implemented. It has been revealed in a Dutch newspaper.
European Council President Herman van Rompuy told the paper he was shocked at the strength of opposition to the reforms but stressed no other European leader had talked of leaving the euro. Eurosceptic politician Gert Wilders wants explanations.
“I was very pleasantly surprised. I remember Mr Rutte telling my party it’s a crazy idea only to think about leaving the eurozone. I have asked for an urgent debate in the Dutch parliament. I hope he will support me. Mr Rutte can explain what he really said,” the leader of the Party for Freedom said.
How much will this revelation strengthen Geert Wilders’ Eurosceptic stance among the Dutch voters with elections for the European Parliament at the end of May?
“The people who vote for Wilders don’t care what Rutte thinks and what Rutte does. I mean, in the end, the problem with Rutte is that he always gets to a certain compromise and that’s the compromise that those voters don’t want,” opined Political analyst Chris Aalberts.
In reacting to the newspaper’s claims, the Dutch PM has sent a letter to parliament in which he does not deny the threat but says he never made actual plans to leave the eurozone.
Our correspondent in the Netherlands Olaf Bruns said, “Many opposition parties have sharply criticised the prime minister. They accuse him of boosting Eurosceptics like Geert Wilders by adopting a position similar to theirs.”