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Dutch vote on Ukraine hints at trouble for the EU

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Dutch vote on Ukraine hints at trouble for the EU


The Netherlands is due to vote for or against the EU’s association agreement with Ukraine.

The deal is designed to strengthen economic and political ties between Brussels and Kyiv.

A no vote will be seen as a boost to anti-EU sentiment.

One resident of Amsterdam sees the referendum as a smoke screen:“I believe that those who wanted this referendum are not thinking about Ukraine. They want to leave the EU and I’m very much against that.”

Far-right MP Geert Wilders sees the opportunity to land a blow on Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and set the tone for a possible Brexit in June:
“I think it would have an enormous effect, both on the referendum in the United Kingdom later this year and that again could have an effect on other countries that might not accept more European Union.”

The Dutch referendum is the first under a new domestic law that permits a nonbinding vote on some legislation.

Some feel too ill informed to make a decision: “What does it matter if they join or if they don’t? In our European family I don’t have enough information to have an opinion about what would change in Europe if they join or not. I have no idea.”

Moscow will keep a close eye on the ballot if the Dutch vote no Vladimir Putin and pro-Russian separatists will see it as a victory.

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