Category: Europe

The EU’s New Bomb Is Ticking in the Netherlands


21-Nov (WSJ) — If the European dream is to die, it may be the Netherlands that delivers the fatal blow. The Dutch general election in March is shaping up to be a defining moment for the European project.

…Instead, the risk to the EU comes from a new generation of Dutch euroskeptics who are less divisive and concerned about immigration but more focused on questions of sovereignty—and utterly committed to the destruction of the EU. Its leading figures are Thierry Baudet and Jan Roos, who have close links to British euroskeptics. They have already scored one significant success: In 2015, they persuaded the Dutch parliament to adopt a law that requires the government to hold a referendum on any law if 300,000 citizens request it. They then took advantage of this law at the first opportunity to secure a vote that rejected the EU’s proposed trade and economic pact with Ukraine, which Brussels saw as a vital step in supporting a strategically important neighbor.

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PG View: The harbingers of Brexit and Trump suggest the experiment that is the eurozone may truly be on the ropes.

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Italy’s referendum holds the key to the future of the euro

21-Nov (FT) — After Brexit and Donald Trump, prepare for the return of the eurozone crisis. If Matteo Renzi, Italian prime minister, loses his constitutional referendum on December 4, I would expect a sequence of events that would raise questions of Italy’s participation in the eurozone.

…The referendum matters as it could accelerate the path towards euro exit. If Mr Renzi loses, he has said he would resign, leading to political chaos. Investors might conclude the game is up. On December 5, Europe could wake up to an immediate threat of disintegration.

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PG View: The FT points out that Marine Le Pen is no longer a long-shot to be the next President of France and she has promised to hold a Frexit referendum if elected.

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