Dutch parliament debates Greek bailout on Tuesday

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 27, 2012 5:44 AM
Dutch parliament debates Greek bailout on Tuesday

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Netherlands will hold a parliamentary debate on the Greek bailout on Tuesday afternoon, with the government expected to secure majority support for the 130 billion euro rescue package.

The Dutch government, a minority coalition between the Liberal and Christian Democrat parties, usually relies on the opposition Labour Party for support in such debates because its main ally, Geert Wilders' Freedom Party, strongly opposes bailouts for Greece and other euro zone peripheral economies.

Officials confirmed on Monday the debate would take place and could drag on until later in the week. No formal vote is expected, but political parties are likely to indicate whether they support the deal or not.

Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager, who took a particularly hard line during negotiations over the latest Greek bailout, has since warned that the deal is no guarantee that the problems in Greece will be solved.

De Jager has highlighted Greece's poor track record and past behaviour when it comes to keeping its austerity promises.

The euro zone bailouts are a politically sensitive issue, given that the Dutch economy is in recession and the government is expected to have to make further budget cuts.

(Reporting by Sara Webb)