Dutch PM under fire over euro zone bailout

Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:51pm EDT
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By Aaron Gray-Block

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch opposition parties took aim at Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Saturday, demanding the minority coalition government secure a definitive and sustainable solution to Europe's debt crisis or risk a loss of parliamentary support.

The minority coalition government of Liberals and Christian Democrats needs the support of the pro-European opposition for any measures to solve the debt crisis because its main ally, the eurosceptic Freedom Party, is firmly opposed to bailouts.

"The package that comes from the summit must be sufficiently robust to actually lead us out of the crisis and we will ultimately judge the results from the summit on that basis," said Job Cohen, leader of the largest opposition party PvdA.

Euro zone leaders will meet on Sunday and Wednesday in a bid to resolve the debt crisis.

Under pressure from the PvdA, Democrat D66 and Greens party, the two government parties agreed to back motions calling on Rutte to push for sustainable reform in Europe instead of more austerity measures and a division of retail and investment banks to stop them "gambling" with consumer savings.

"This minority cabinet cannot simply take our support for granted," Greens leader Jolande Sap warned.

Rutte earlier told parliament that negotiations in Brussels were already difficult and he was not in favor of complicating the talks now with the opposition parties' proposals.

Euro zone countries are working on a plan that involves leveraging the euro zone bailout fund, recapitalising European banks and putting together a second financing package for Greece that entails deeper losses for private investors.   Continued...