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I've lost track on the definitions of 'growth' and 'austerity' - by politicians, by business-lobbyists and here at ET. I'll struggle on.

Labour's gambit in resisting the Dutch Austerity 2.0 package of past spring may have helped them. Then again, the minute the signatures were put to paper, the five parties that had grouped together began calling for changes and honing election rhetoric. And hardly anyone has mentioned the austerity package during the elections.

Labour has consistently resisted the three percent EU-budget ceiling, thereby risking an EU penalty. The party's program heckles the EU's insistence on 'growth', while rallying for a program for jobs instead. A Tobin tax, clear support for a large role of the ECB, Eurobonds, an absolve of liberalizing the health and housing market - it's all in there. Plenty of populist pipe-dreams are there as well (scrapping Strassbourg, reducing the EU budget) - but still. Labour has shifted relatively rapid towards the French negotiation position and the Dutch Socialists.

Combine this breed with the anti-EU, pro-austerity stance of Merkel's lapdog, Rutte, and what we'll get in the Netherlands is rather beyond speculation at this point - and somewhat frightening, might I add.

by Nomad on Thu Sep 13th, 2012 at 02:10:50 PM EST
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