Prime Minister Mark Rutte is nevertheless willing to grant subsidies instead of loans to EU countries such as Italy and Spain that have been hit hard by the corona crisis.
Those Member States must then give ‘firm guarantees’ that they will invest the money in strengthening their economies and, in addition, reform their labor market and pension system on a large scale.
That said the VVD Prime Minister in the House on Tuesday. Rutte added the requirement that all other Member States should have a say in the reform plans of the recipient countries. If these are not enough, the Netherlands wants to use its veto to stop the money support. He said he was “pessimistic” that the southern EU countries “accept these conditions.”
“We are still only for loans,” said Rutte on Tuesday during a parliamentary debate about the upcoming EU summit. “But if countries still want to know what the road to subsidies is, then I have to be able to explain to the Dutch parliament and to the Dutch citizens that, in return, fundamental reforms have taken place that have been stalled so far.”