One billion euros from the Netherlands for European coronavirus relief fund, says Hoekstra

After being criticised by Spain and Italy for its lack of compassion, the Netherlands is now beginning to change its stance on a coronavirus emergency fund for countries particularly hard hit by the virus.

Hoekstra, the Minister for Finance, wants the Netherlands to put about one billion euros into a European emergency fund for countries struggling with coronavirus.

Fund should total between 10 and 20 billion euros

This fund is hoped to total between 10 and 20 billion euros, according to Prime Minister Rutte. He did not want to be more specific about exactly what the Netherlands would put into the fund until it was all established. “I am not going to speculate. We must first see whether that fund will be created.” The amounts countries are expected to donate should be proportional, according to the Prime Minister.

The Netherlands changes its stance

This is a back-track from the Netherlands’ original, fairly harsh position, which was criticised by Spain and Italy. The original plan was to use money from the European Stabilisation Mechanism to help out affected countries, but that would have imposed very strict conditions on those countries (which no one needs right now). Yesterday, Hoekstra admitted that he had not shown enough empathy towards affected countries, and noted that it was in the Netherlands’ interest to have a strong European Union.

Now, the fund will be an emergency fund, which countries will not have to repay.

Follow the DutchReview Facebook page for more updates on COVID-19 in the Netherlands.

Feature Image: Still of NOS press conference, by DutchReview. 

Ailish Lalor
Ailish was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up by a forest in south-east Ireland, which she has attempted to replace with a living room filled with plants in The Hague. Besides catering to her army of pannenkoekenplantjes, Ailish spends her days convincing her friends that all food is better slightly burnt, plotting ways to hang out with dogs and cats, and of course, writing for DutchReview.

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