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Dutch PM Rutte an Advocate of Thatcherism

by Oui Sun Jul 19th, 2020 at 12:06:53 PM EST

After Brexit and the election of Boris Johnson, it's Conservative Dutch Prime Minister to do Donald Trump a favor ...

'Frugal four' seek smaller aid package

The size of the recovery package has been the biggest bone of contention as the Netherlands, along with Austria, Denmark, Sweden the so-called "Frugal Four" as well as Finland have put their weight behind a smaller fund and smaller portion of grants.

They demanded that any loans or grants should be accompanied by strict conditions to ensure the countries that are under heavy debt carry out labor market reform.

Germany and France have been pushing for an ambitious package of loans and subsidies to member states, and have repeatedly appealed for a compromise.

Hungary's Orban: 'The Dutchman' Is Responsible for EU Summit Disarray

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Sunday that Dutch leader Mark Rutte was responsible for the deadlock at a European Union summit, where leaders were set to haggle for a third day over a vast stimulus plan for their coronavirus-hit economies.

More below the fold ...

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger


"I don't know what is the personal reason for the Dutch prime minister to hate me or Hungary, but he is attacking so harshly," he told reporters in front of the steps of a European history museum in a Brussels park, a short walk from the summit venue.

"I don't like blame games but the Dutchman is the real responsible man for the whole mess... The Dutch prime minister, he is the fighter."

Orban, a right-wing nationalist who has accumulated unprecedented powers since winning election a decade ago, has clashed with the EU's executive and other member states for years over his perceived backsliding from democratic governance.

A group of wealthy and fiscally "frugal" northern states led by the Netherlands has blocked progress at the summit towards agreement on a 750 billion euro fund to revive Europe's economies.

They want strict control over how funds are spent, and there has been a fierce argument over whether money could be withheld from countries that fail to live up to democratic standards.  

Yep ... using the human rights argument to bully other nations. Lessons learned from Trump/Pompeo?? Is the EU Treaty insufficient? Winning the deadlock in an economic package due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rutte has an excellent PR management team back home.

Europe's Future Divided Into Vassal States

More background, a diary I was working on when the EU news cycle took over.

More to come ...

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EU looks to target Big Tech in trade war with America | Politico EU |

European politicians want to expand the trade arsenal beyond goods to services and IP.

Europe is ready to get creative to win the next bout of trade war against America.

The EU is preparing a law that could allow its executive body, the European Commission, to hit back against U.S. tariffs by imposing sanctions on the intellectual property of companies such as Amazon, Google and Facebook.

by Oui on Mon Jul 20th, 2020 at 12:14:54 AM EST

by Oui on Mon Jul 20th, 2020 at 03:53:48 AM EST
EU leaders struggle to save deadlocked Covid-19 recovery summit | France24 |

Tempers flared in the conference room as frustration boiled over after a full weekend of haggling, with French President Emmanuel Macron upbraiding the Dutch and Austrian leaders and threatening a walkout.

EU leaders in bitter clash over Covid-19 recovery package | The Guardian |

The Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, has insisted he cannot be expected to take on extra national debt in order for the EU to make cash payments to member states without his parliament having a say.

In response, Orbán, the nationalist prime minister of Hungary, who was an anti-communist dissident in his youth, accused Rutte of aping Soviet methods to crush dissent by failing to properly set out the terms on which funds would be blocked.

What a bs from Mark Rutte ... Dutch parliament and a referendum voted down EU expansion into the Ukraine ... Rutte circumvented the clear result ...

by Oui on Mon Jul 20th, 2020 at 04:02:28 AM EST
by Oui on Mon Jul 20th, 2020 at 04:06:35 AM EST
by Oui on Mon Jul 20th, 2020 at 04:11:32 AM EST
by Oui on Mon Jul 20th, 2020 at 04:17:33 AM EST
by Oui on Mon Jul 20th, 2020 at 04:23:12 AM EST
by Oui on Mon Jul 20th, 2020 at 04:26:32 AM EST
Harsh words from Macron for Mark Rutte ...

Macron, using colorful language, also compared the way the frugals were behaving to how the UK under Cameron used to behave during budget negotiations.

Underlying issue .. why I'm not surprised!

Rutte's fury with Macron over EU Army bid exposed: `You're going way too far!'

... and the joint venture of Dutch Blue KLM and Air France in deep trouble.

by Oui on Mon Jul 20th, 2020 at 04:47:19 AM EST
More people are comparing Rutte, not to Thatcher, but rather to Cameron; for instance, Luuk Molthof, a "senior research fellow at d|part, a nonpartisan political think tank based in Berlin."

Mark Rutte is in danger of repeating David Cameron's mistakes

Like Cameron, Rutte has a history of playing into his country's soft Euroskepticism. He toned down that approach after the Brexit referendum -- having realized that a Nexit, while unlikely, cannot be entirely ruled out.

But he also seems to have concluded that, in order not to embolden the Euroskeptic opposition any further, he can't be seen to be supporting any significant increase in the Dutch financial contributions to the EU.

If Rutte's intention was to cover his Euroskeptic flank, it's easy to see why his approach during the lead-up to the EU summit has already backfired.

By rhetorically pitting the Netherlands (and the other frugal three) against the rest of the EU, Rutte created the impression that Dutch and European interests are not aligned -- whereas in fact the Netherlands has just as much at stake in Europe's recovery as everyone else.


In Cameron's case, it was obvious that his obstructionism made him few friends in Europe. By the time he wanted to negotiate a reform deal, which was meant to secure the U.K.'s stay in the EU, he had already lost a lot of goodwill. As a result, his European partners were not all that keen to help him out of the grave he dug himself.

Rutte risks spiraling down the same path. The Netherlands is in danger of succeeding the U.K. as the EU's "awkward partner." Rutte should be careful not to let this happen.

For a small member state, the Netherlands is surprisingly influential in the EU, due mainly to its close relationship with Germany. Yet Rutte's stubbornness in the recent EU budget negotiations has led to a growing rift between the two countries. In order to be able to effectively represent Dutch interests in the future, he would do well not to let this rift widen.


by Bernard on Thu Jul 23rd, 2020 at 03:04:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mark Rutte's economic policies are based on Thatcherism and Conservatism. The proces of confrontation with Brussels has elements of both: Thatcher on special treatment and deductions, Cameron on negotiation tactics of obstruction due to domestic politics.

The Tories lost votes to UKIP's Farage. Dutch Conservative party VVD has to use populist tactics of the far right on immigration and "anti-EU" position or lose voters to Geert Wilders and newcomer Thierry Baudet.

Brexiteer Big Winner Dutch Upper House Election | Diary - March 21, 2019 |

After PM May, Rutte's Friendship w Trump

PM Rutte relies on excellent PR management and very friendly Dutch media and journalism. So bad, I can't watch news programs or documentaries. All are little critical and the Dutch have lived through two decades of right-wing rhetoric after 9/11 that changed society forever. The political murders of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh were the catalysts of Xenophobia and Islamophobia.

by Oui on Thu Jul 23rd, 2020 at 08:28:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Holland used to have a reputation as a liberal and even left wing society. What I do not quite understand is why it has moved so far to the right in recent years. Is immigration, or opposition to it the root cause? Or is Rutte increasingly out of step with his own people? It seems as if he is moving to the right just as much of the rest of Europe is moving tentatively to the left, embracing Keynesian economics and re-coiling in horror from Trumpism and Brexit. Or is he trying to re-position the Netherland's as Trump's new best friend within the EU, now that Boris is doing his disruptive thing from the outside.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 20th, 2020 at 11:57:32 AM EST
Fro what I see, the Dutch Left has lost its prestige in the 2002 election, and shows no signs of recovering it. Economically, what are they to do after the purple privatizations?

In aggregate, the frugal Dutch are creditors within Europe. The morals for kumbaya equality are constricted then. The EU became the civilized tool of debt recovery. Or was it even intended predominantly as such?

by das monde on Tue Jul 21st, 2020 at 10:09:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It may be a matter of accumulation.  The Netherlands used to foist much of its right wing onto overseas locations such as South Africa (Boers) and the Americas (e.g. Reformed Church crypto-Nazis in western Michigan).  This export program stopped being an option after WWII, and so the right wingers simply piled up at home.  That population hit critical mass just as 2002 lit the fuse.
by rifek on Wed Jul 22nd, 2020 at 05:45:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a 'deal' as EU leaders end marathon summit with historic rescue package | France24 |

The EU, already weakened by Britain's departure, was slow to coordinate its initial response to the Covid-19 pandemic; a united front on economic aid would demonstrate that it can step up to a crisis and stay united.

"It has been a long summit and a challenging summit but the prize is worth negotiating for," Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin said at the end of the Brussels summit, which was just shy of being the longest EU summit in history.

To compensate a discount to the Frugal countries, savings on EU healthcare ...

by Oui on Tue Jul 21st, 2020 at 07:32:39 AM EST
by Oui on Tue Jul 21st, 2020 at 07:41:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]

The pillars of Next Generation EU
NextGenEU - Breaking a taboo or breaking the law?

Let's not forget the Green Deal ...

The EU Strategy for Energy System Integration

by Oui on Tue Jul 21st, 2020 at 07:49:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Macron back to the real world and the tough issues ...

by Oui on Tue Jul 21st, 2020 at 07:36:21 AM EST
Someone needs to explain to him that Der Drumpfenfuehrer does not do friendship.
by rifek on Wed Jul 22nd, 2020 at 05:19:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No need: "my friend" here is a simple diplomatic term; he doesn't believe it a single second.

As in domestic politics, what Macron says and what Macron does are two different things entirely.

by Bernard on Wed Jul 22nd, 2020 at 08:03:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Wed Jul 22nd, 2020 at 03:47:23 AM EST
by Bernard on Wed Jul 22nd, 2020 at 11:23:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As I previously reported, the Dutch government and its RIVM Institute unconscientiously underreports the deaths due to failed policy. My estimate was upto 50%, today the National Institute of Stats CBS reports the official number should be between 50-100% higher. This would place the Netherlands right below Belgium which nation scored high in the Top Ten worst nations on deaths per capita. After riding extremely high in the polls, always bright and smiling PM Mark Rutte is on a slow trend downward.

Dutch official coronavirus death toll rises by 53; 9,000 'excess' deaths in corona time | Dutch News - May 2020 |

From the diaries ...

Outbreak -- Herd Immunity Is Damning!

From Outbreak to a Global Pandemic

by Oui on Wed Jul 29th, 2020 at 10:59:30 AM EST
by Oui on Wed Jul 29th, 2020 at 11:09:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dutch government will not advise public to wear masks - minister
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch government on Wednesday said it will not advise the public to wear masks to slow the spread of coronavirus, asserting that their effectiveness has not been proven.

The decision was announced by Minister for Medical Care Tamara van Ark after a review by the country's National Institute for Health (RIVM). The government will instead seek better adherence to social distancing rules after a surge in coronavirus cases in the country this week, Van Ark said at a press conference in The Hague.

"Because from a medical perspective there is no proven effectiveness of masks, the Cabinet has decided that there will be no national obligation for wearing non-medical masks" Van Ark said.

The decision bucks the trend as many European countries have made masks mandatory in stores or crowded outdoor areas.

by Bernard on Thu Jul 30th, 2020 at 06:03:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Dutch pandemic response is a masterclass in framing, misleading and even gaslighting. Satire, but alas, all true.

Spring time for master classes!

Jeff Bezos Just Published a 4,000-Word Statement to Congress. It's a Master Class in Emotional Intelligence

by das monde on Thu Jul 30th, 2020 at 06:04:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]

From the article ...

Rutte received universal adulation in the polls and newspapers. A true statesman has risen! The next day, some people calculated on the back of an envelope that controlled spread would result in some 50,000 to 100,000 deaths. Within a day, RIVM (Dutch CDC) reframed Herd Immunity as a "consequence", not a goal. All protest faded away. Hallelujah!

Didn't catch me napping ... 😉😴

BoJo Explains Rising Death Toll and Herd Immunity

Dutch PM Mark Rutte parrots the Pentagon, Trump and now Boris Johnson on the scientific advice to control the COVID-19 pandemic ...

Excerpt of Prime Minister Rutte's National Address in English | NL Times - March 16, 2020 |

From the diaries ... see main entry.

by Oui on Thu Jul 30th, 2020 at 07:29:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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