Dutch Parliament to Debate Leaving the Eurozone: Nexit on the Way?
In long-winded wording for a potential “Nexit”, Reuters reports Dutch relations with euro up for debate after lawmakers commission probe
The Netherlands’ future relationship with the euro will be comprehensively debated by its parliament following elections in March after lawmakers commissioned a report on the currency’s future.
The motion approving the investigation by the Council of State, the government’s legal advisor, coincides with a rising tide of euroscepticism in Europe, which populist parties are hoping to tap into in a series of national elections this year also taking in eurozone powerhouses France and Germany.
The probe will examine whether it would be possible for the Dutch to withdraw from the single currency, and if so how, said lawmaker Pieter Omtzigt.
Omtzigt, of the opposition Christian Democrats, tabled the parliamentary motion calling for the investigation, which legislators passed unanimously late on Thursday.
It was prompted by concerns the ECB’s ultra-low interest rates are hurting Dutch savers, especially pensioners, and doubts as to whether its bond purchasing programs are legal, he said.
Its findings will be presented in several months, by which time the make-up of parliament will have changed dramatically.
While most Dutch voters say they favor retaining the euro, the eurosceptic far-right party of Geert Wilders is expected to book large gains though it is unlikely to win enough votes to form a government.
The most probable outcome of the March 15 vote is a new centrist coalition including some parties, such as Omtzigt’s Christian Democrats, that have been vocal in their opposition to current ECB policy.
“The problems with the euro have not been solved,” Omtzigt said. “This is a way for us to look at ways forward with no taboos.”
Geert Wilders is likely to “win” the Dutch election. In this case, “win” means get more votes than any other political party.
However, the odds that Wilders can form a stable coalition with Wilders heading up the government is slim.
The first line in the above table of Netherlands Polls is from the 2012 election, the rest of the lines are from February of this year.
History suggests those polls may be wildly inaccurate, but most of the parties ruled out a coalition with Wilders’ PVV.
In terms on “Nexit”, if Wilders can get 26% of the vote with another 24% agreeing, there just may be enough votes in parliament for the Netherlands to abandon the Euro, assuming the public would go along.
Any Netherlands readers care to assess how the other political parties and voters at large stand on this issue?
Mike “Mish” Shedlock