Battles over austerity measures that look tame in comparison to those endured by Greeks torpedoed the Dutch government on Monday, as its prime minister tendered his cabinet’s resignation to Queen Beatrix. Not to be outdone, the Czech government came in for a crisis of its own as its coalition foundered over growing protests over austerity measures.
Reuters reported Monday that Greeks had no sympathy for the Dutch after the regular dressings-down administered to them by Jan Kees de Jager, the Dutch finance minister, particularly since the provisions sought by de Jager’s government are so much less stringent than those the Greeks have endured for nearly five years.
Yields were up at a sale of Dutch bonds on Tuesday, although demand was still strong. Bloomberg reported that Prime Minister Mark Rutte planned to speak in Parliament to try to win more support for proposed changes to state pensions—a measure that had caused the collapse of the ruling coalition the day before. Rutte’s government was asked to remain in power as caretaker until elections can be held.
At stake on Monday were Dutch budget cuts totaling at least 9.5 billion euros ($12.5 billion). The government has thus far been unsuccessful at putting together a 2013 budget.