Rutte: ‘Restoring calm and confidence’

Last week, parliamentary debates were held on the budget agreements made by the government, coalition parties and three of the opposition parties. During that time parliament also concluded the debate on the general budget. Following a Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Mark Rutte took a moment to reflect on the outcome.

'We have now taken major steps, in formal terms, to implement our coalition agreement, in particular the 2014 budget. The main points have been finalised, and that’s important for restoring calm and confidence', said Mr Rutte. According to calculations by the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, the budget agreements will have a positive effect on employment: 'a key ambition for all the negotiating parties', as the Prime Minister remarked. This package will also lead to increased purchasing power across the board for 2014.

Russia

During the Cabinet meeting, Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans reported on developments in Dutch-Russian relations and the previous day’s consultation on that subject with parliament. After the incident at the embassy in Moscow, Mr Timmermans contacted his counterpart Sergey Lavrov. ‘The Netherlands expects this matter to be investigated fully and the perpetrators to be held accountable. It was good to hear that Mr Lavrov shares this view, and that a criminal investigation has been opened,’ said the Prime Minister. Mr Rutte stressed that there was, as yet, no reason to alter the programme for the Russian-Dutch Year, including the royal visit.

European Council

One of the issues to be discussed at next week’s European Council is the Digital Agenda. Prior to the Council, Mr Rutte has a meeting scheduled with European Commissioner Neelie Kroes on expanding the European IT partnership. Next week, Mr Rutte will also speak with David Cameron about creating jobs by eliminating unnecessary European rules that impede the growth of the economy and employment.