Professor of Public Finance and Economic Policy at the Erasmus School of Economics, Bas Jacobs, criticises the Dutch Minister of Finance. ‘We did not grow at all,’ he says in the television programme Nieuwsuur about the national economic policy.
In Europe Jeroen Dijsselbloem is known for his strict economic policy. It even gave him his job as President of the Eurozone. He is said to be the one who saved the Netherlands from the economic crisis, and he himself claims that because of his policy the Dutch government was able to invest in healthcare and education again. But according to Bas Jacobs the monetary policy of Dijsselbloem actually increased the economic crisis.
We could have been better
The Professor of Public Finance and Economic Policy at the Erasmus School of Economics states that the last seven years the Netherlands hasn’t been doing well. ‘Between 2008 and 2015 we didn’t grow at all and that’s mostly the result of the budgetary policy of Dijsselbloem,’ he says in Nieuwsuur. ‘If he hadn’t been so strict and Calvinistic, we would have had more jobs, higher incomes and our general government finances would have been in a better state.’
Or are we doing better?
Dijsselbloem is annoyed by his criticasters. According to him you have to adjust your expenses when the economy of your country is in a bad state. The last four years he has managed the budgetary policy of the European Union just as strictly as he kept the Dutch budget tight. ‘When I joined the Eurogroup, the Eurozone was not doing well financially. Now we are growing faster than any other economic region in the world. There is almost no country left that’s considering abandoning the euro. Even conservative people in France and Italy want to stick to the euro.’
Happy to retire
For now Dijsselbloem can count his blessings, since the new Dutch parliament is taking a long time to form. And as long as no agreement is reached, he stays in charge of the national finances. However, as soon as the formation is done, he will be no longer. We guess Professor Jacobs will be happy when it’s time for Dijsselbloem to resign and the Netherlands will get a new Minister of Finance.
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