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Europe

Dutch May Oppose EU Members in Euro Pact Row

The Netherlands is considering siding with the European Commission in the row over the euro rules.

The Hague will decide by Friday whether to assist the European Commission in its court case against Member States - including the Netherlands - for suspending the disciplinary procedure against France and Germany last November. Sources close to the Dutch government told the EUobserver that the topic is likely to be raised at the Dutch Cabinet meeting on Friday. The Dutch media have reported that Foreign Minister Bernard Bot is against taking the side of the Commission and is coming increasingly into conflict with Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm on the issue. If the Netherlands does decide to aid the Commission, it would mean that it is in effect helping to sue itself. The Dutch have been the most outspoken of all EU Member States in insisting that the euro rules should apply to all members equally. Zalm voted against the decision taken in November, along with ministers from Austria, Spain and Finland. Of these allies, only Spain remains (Spanish Finance Minister Rodrigo Rato said there would be "positive consequences,") as Austria and Finland joined the chorus of voices decrying the Commission's decision to take matters to the court where all eyes will now turn. (EUobserver.com)

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