“Super strict doctor”: Mark Rutte states that “Italy must learn to save itself”

Prime-Minister Mark Rutte stated in an interview for an Italian magazine that “Italy must learn to save itself”given the coronavirus outbreak and financial aid to overcome the economic crisis, reports NOS.

The coronavirus outbreak has divided the European Union when it comes to how financial aid should be distributed to hard-hit Southern European countries. The Netherlands and Italy have been in conflict over the issue for some months now, with Italy accusing the Dutch state of not showing solidarity.

Interview for Italian magazine

Prime-Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, has recently conducted an interview with a magazine of the largest Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera.

According to Rutte, he understands how difficult the situation was for Italy. “The impact of the pandemic has been huge on Italy, both in terms of human lives and economic damage. We understand and therefore we must help Italy.”

Nevertheless, he points out that financial aid must be followed by reforms so that Italy makes itself resilient for crises in the future. “I think it is admirable what Prime Minister Conte has done so far. The measures he has taken to make Italy more productive and competitive. Unpopular measures have also been taken, and that is a good start. Because it is crucial that is able to respond to a crisis on his own.”

Italy has agreed to the proposal coming from the European Commission of providing 500 billion euros of the 750 billion euros in aid, while the rest would come in the form of loans. Italy would receive 170 billion euros of that proposal.

According to Rutte, Italy can count on the Netherlands’s help, but not in the form of free money. In his vision, the EU Recovery Fund for the coronavirus crisis would be only in the form of loans. “Loans are also help.”

Rutte is seen as the main leader of four European countries who only want to provide aid in certain conditions. That has lead to him being called by the magazine as the “super strict doctor” by the Italian magazine.

Do you think Mark Rutte is being too strict about the financial aid, and that he should demonstrate more solidarity with other European countries? Let us know in the comments!

Feature Image: Sebastiaan ter Burg/Flickr 

Vlad Moca-Grama
Vlad was born and raised in Brasov, Romania and came to the Hague to study. When he isn't spending time missing mountains or complaining about the lack of urban exploration locations in the Netherlands, you can find him writing at Dutch Review.

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