Dijsselbloem: support for EU countries only through reforms Financial

That said Jeroen Dijsselbloem, former president of the Eurogroup and former finance minister, on Sunday afternoon in the TV program Buitenhof. The European Commission will present its plans on Wednesday.

Last week Chancellor Merkel and President Macron came up with their proposal to support the hardest hit countries and sectors. The European Commission would borrow € 500 billion on the capital market to subsequently support countries, according to Berlin and Paris.

A clash about this threatens: the Netherlands opposes the Franco-German plan with Austria, Sweden and Denmark.

These “miserly four” are against an increase in joint debt in Europe or a “substantial” increase in the EU budget, the four countries reported. They did not mention any amount themselves. And that offers room for negotiation, Dijsselbloem said on Sunday.

The German ex-finance minister Schäuble warned in Welt am Sonntag that if there is no support for the Franco-German plan, European cooperation will perish.

Big investments

Both plans contain “good elements,” said Dijsselbloem, who negotiated on behalf of the Eurogroup with countries such as Italy and Greece in their previous crises.

He expects “through my eyelids” that it will take at least another € 500 billion to repair the damage of the corona crisis, and certainly not the amounts of previously expressed wishes, such as the European Parliament’s € 1500 billion. However, the European budget will inevitably have to rise.

At the same time, aid is linked to cutbacks. According to Dijsselbloem, it is a good thing that a support program will almost certainly fall within the European budget, because that is how hard conditions can be imposed on countries. Uses can then be continuously audited by the European Court of Auditors.

In the corona crisis, a two-year term of loans, as seeped through from the four euro countries, is ‘not at all realistic’, says Dijsselbloem. According to him, when it comes to large investments that renew the economy, you can calmly repay in thirty to fifty years.

Tech load

Dijsselbloem said it was quite logical that large technology companies that largely avoid tax payments in Europe will contribute to the rescue of Europe, their sales market. They have earned well there for years, now they have to contribute to recovery.

The former treasury guard is critical of support for Air France KLM. That is now being financed with debt. “That is extremely risky,” he said Buitenhof.

To save the aviation concern from destruction, France has pledged € 7 billion in aid. From The Hague, the company can count on € 2 billion to € 4 billion in support, in the form of guarantees and loans.

Share risks KLM

But in the eyes of Dijsselbloem, the Dutch government could invest better in the company’s share capital. “I would say together with the French, you will prevent new conflicts.”

The main argument for such a bail-in is that other shareholders then pay. “You have to make sure that the investors – those who have the capital, the capital – also contribute to the losses, which will really be suffered,” Dijsselbloem emphasized.

He pointed out that about 70% of Air France KLM is owned by private investors from, for example, China or the United States. “They then pay. Because as soon as the Netherlands puts money in the share capital, the shares of those investors dilute. ”


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