The Netherlands a wild card?


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You might recall those crazy Dutch people wondering about their gold a while back. Now it looks like they have taken a sober look at their continuing participation in the EU:
Inquiring minds are reading a 73 page detailed report The Netherlands & The Euro that explains country by country why Italy, Greece, Portugal, and Spain are going to need lots more money, and the Netherlands and Germany will end up footing the bill.

The study highlights the fundamental flaws of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), the damage done by the euro to date to the Netherlands, and the potential costs down the road. The report conclusion is Netherlands should exit the EMU.
Inquiring minds may be wondering how big and influential the Dutch Partij voor de Vrijheid (‘PVV’, the Party for Freedom) might be. It's a good question, too. The short answer is the PVV is a critical part of the coalition holding the Netherlands government together.

Reuters explains in commentary from November, Analysis: Populists exploit euro zone crisis to gain influence
This new report could very well topple the government of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Put that bit of news together with the fact that French Presidential candidate wants to redo portions of the just signed "Merkozy" treaty. Polls show French president Nicolas Sarkozy will not survive the next set of elections.

German chancellor Angela Merkel is rapidly losing support as well. Ironically, the breakup of Merkel's coalition might be to a coalition wanting to lend still more support the nanny-zone.

Regardless, the net effect of the demise of the governments of Germany, France, and the Netherlands would be for far more feuding, adding to the overall pressure for a eurozone breakup.

The eurozone is at a critical juncture now. If governments in the Netherlands, Germany, and France collapse, and I think they will, the eurozone could be nearing the inevitable breakup stage already.


Add to that a bit of reporting from a local over there:
The Freedom Party, the party never shirking controversy, in fact usually benefiting from it in the polls, released a cost benefit report they say shows a return to the guilder would be positive. The essence is that leaving the euro would cost 51 billion euros but lead to benefits of 75 billion euros. They had commissioned Lombard Street Research to do it and are being vehemently criticized for using a firm widely known to be eurosceptical.

Candidate for the leadership of the Labour Party, R Plasterk, is especially critical and reasoned that the researchers had started with that conclusion and worked their assumptions to prove it. Hmm, who has produced any 'objective' research on this issue that the rest of us can examine? I may look further into Labour Party leadership contest but it will be decided in a couple of days and another angle on politics generally may be of more interest to zerohedge readers. writer Jeroen de Boer argues that LSR's conclusion that the Dutch going it alone would be positive is actually a 'wild' experiment since the guilder had been defacto tied to the D mark for decades except for a few incidents. So he seems to be insinuating any scenario for leaving the euro should involve using the same fiat as Germany. He picks through the research in his way and adds some from other sources and his own logic. This mostly involves comparing exports of countries such as Switzerland, Denmark, and Sweden to Germany. He then reasons it wouldn't work because the Netherlands has deeper trade links with Germany.

All countries in the eurozone would do better on their own individual currencies. The more centralized economic decisions are made, the less efficient they will be.
Ireland is having a referendum on staying in. Most likely the vote will be 'no' which would make it the third of the 27 to be on the sidelines. The other two are Britain and The Czech Republic.

What we are seeing happening is paring down of an unwieldly and unworkable EU, probably into a two-tier Union, with a core of 9 (Treaty mininum) to 12 countries. As to which nations will be left in the core is anyone's guess right now, but I see Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Croatia, Poland being part of the core with Ireland, Britain, the Benelux nations, and Scandinavian nations on the outside looking in.

This study reaffirms my thoughts on the subject. I just don't see The Netherlands remaining on the inside.
The EU is a fundamentally flawed consortium of countries with views on economics so varied that without a common constitution it is unworkable in the long term. Look at the requirements set forth for Greece. They have been "asked".......actually, they have been told to change their sovereign constitution to allow some of the requirements given them for receiving a bailout to be fulfilled. If Greece bends over and simply takes it up the ass on this one, then they deserve what they get.
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