Dutch Prime Minister Faces Test on Greece Bailout; Opposition Head Calls Greece “European Junkie”


During his successful 2012 election campaign, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte vowed “not one cent more for Greece”— a sentiment supported by most right-leaning voters in Holland.

Fast forward to today and the prime minister is facing a challenge from his chief opposition, Geert Wilders, who has entered a no confidence motion in parliament over Rutte’s broken campaign pledge not to provide additional emergency funding to Greece.

The parliament was due to debate the new Greek bailout that was agreed by eurozone finance ministers last week, sending the cash-strapped country an additional 87 billion euros in aid in exchange for numerous reform promises and concessions.

Although its approval is not formally required, opposition parties have pounced on the moment to air their objections and were expected to request a vote. Wilders’ populist Freedom Party has frequently led Rutte’s Liberals in national polls and could prose problems to the ruling government, whose finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem heads the eurogroup and who was the chief negotiator for Greece’s bailout.

At the start of the debate Wilders called Rutte “the Pinocchio of the lowlands” and urged other parties to oppose the bailout package for “the European junkie called Greece” that he said was incapable of reining in spending or keeping its promises.


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