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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 21 January, 2020
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Irish bailout could sink delicate Dutch ruling coalition

The party supporting the minority government is considering stopping the country taking part in Ireland’s bailout, it is reported.

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte could see his government collapse just two months after it formed, with tensions high over Ireland's bailout.
Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte could see his government collapse just two months after it formed, with tensions high over Ireland's bailout.
Image: Yves Logghe/AP

IRELAND’S BAILOUT from the European Union could potentially cause the collapse of the Dutch government, if reports in Dutch media are to be believed.

The Party for Freedom, which is not a member of the ruling coalition but which votes alongside it in the House of Representatives, is reported by de Volkskrant to be unsure of whether it will support a parliamentary vote to endorse the Netherland’s participation in the European Financial Stability Fund – from which Ireland is getting  €22.5bn, with €2.7bn coming from the Netherlands’ own budget.

The Dutch Labour party, the largest opposition party in the Netherlands’ House of Representatives, is also considering voting against the Netherlands’ involvement if it means that the country will have less to spend on its own affairs.

The former party is generally opposed to sending Dutch money to other countries, but is essentially bound by a “parliamentary support agreement” to support the two-party coalition.

If Labour were to vote in favour of the vote, the Party for Freedom would be free to vote against the deal without threatening the government, but the fate of the government – which has only been in power for two months – could be secured if the Party for Freedom also pulled its support.

The ruling coalition, with the support of the Party for Freedom, enjoys the support of just 76 members of the 150-strong body – the smallest possible majority.

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Gavan Reilly

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