Dutch Finance Minister and Eurogroup Chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem has said he'll not be able to attend the annual meeting of the IMF in Washington. He explained domestic budget talks were taking precedence.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem had been due to represent the bloc of 17 eurozone nations during the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington. But the Eurogroup chief said Thursday morning he needed to be present at urgent domestic budget negotiations in the Netherlands.
"I will not be going to Washington, as the budget talks have more priority," he told national broadcaster NOS.
Dijsselbloem was reported to have taken the last-minute decision in an effort to rescue a budget deal with minority parties needed to endorse an additional 6 billion euros ($8.11 billion) in austerity measures throughout 2014.
Doing worse than others
Amsterdam said it needed the cuts to meet the European Union's 3-percent budget deficit target next year.
The Dutch central bank warned the government's failure to reach an agreement on the budget would be the most significant threat to the country's economic recovery.
The Netherlands is the only core eurozone nation still unable to wriggle out of recession, as a major property crisis, rising unemployment and sluggish consumer spending continue to take their toll.
hg/hc (Reuters, AFP)