Dutch Freedom Party pushes euro exit as €2.4 trillion rescue bill looms
The Dutch Freedom Party has called for a return to the Guilder, becoming the first political movement in the eurozone with a large popular base to opt for withdrawal from the single currency.
"The euro is not in the interests of the Dutch people," said Geert Wilders, the leader of the right-wing populist party with a sixth of the seats in the Dutch parliament. "We want to be the master of our own house and our own country, so we say yes to the guilder. Bring it on."
Mr Wilders made his decision after receiving a report by London-based Lombard Street Research concluding that the Netherlands is badly handicapped by euro membership, and that it could cost EMU's creditor core more than €1.8 trillion to hold monetary union together over the next four years. "If the politicians in The Hague disagree with our report, let them show the guts to hold a referendum. Let the Dutch people decide," he said.
Mr Wilders is not part of the coalition. However, the minority government of Mark Rutte relies on the Freedom Party to pass legislation. The two men were in talks on Monday on €16bn of fresh austerity cuts needed stop the budget deficit jumping to 4.5pc of GDP.
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