What Do the Dutch Elections Mean for the Euro?
By Alec Niedenthal Sep 11, 2012 2:35 pm
A look at the parties and candidates involved.
People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy
Mark Rutte is the incumbent Prime Minister, endorsed here by Great Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron; unsurprisingly, the two share an approach to the economic recession/crisis/black hole. Rutte has such bête noires as bailout money for Greece and health care spending, so he stands in good stead with Angela Merkel’s hawkish Germany.
Like Samson, he believes the budget can be balanced by 2013, but insists that 2013’s deficit can be brought below 3%, an idea which his lefty enemies reject. The Dutch people see him as an uncompromising leader without the ingenuity of his rival — he’s viewed as more of a double-talking smoothie, a strident wonk.
The hard-left socialists have at their helm the outspoken Emile Roemer, who, like Samson, considers austerity a nostrum for a problem that was caused by a deficit in government spending. So Roemer would hope to stimulate the economy, all while cutting Greece off from bond-buying programs, the European Stability Mechanism (to be ratified tomorrow by the German constitutional court), and other forms of bailout. It’s interesting that he shares this position with both the Liberal VVD Party and the far-right Freedom Party. Like other candidates — after all, how economically heterodox can a party politician be? — Roemer wants to balance the budget within two years. He also plans to scotch bank bonuses and hike up the banking tax.
Perhaps riding the coattails of Greece’s far-left Syriza, Roemer was the election’s frontrunner according to polls. But since the debates, in which Roemer’s position came across as paper thin, he’s been in freefall. Now he’s in third place.
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