AMSTERDAM Feb 24 The Netherlands' future
relationship with the euro will be comprehensively debated by
its parliament following elections in March, after lawmakers
commissioned a report on the currency's future.
The motion approving the investigation by the Council of
State, the government's legal advisor, coincides with a rising
tide of euroscepticism in Europe, which populist parties are
hoping to tap into in a series of national elections this year
also taking in euro zone powerhouses France and Germany.
The probe will examine whether it would be possible for the
Dutch to withdraw from the single currency, and if so how, said
lawmaker Pieter Omtzigt.
Omtzigt, of the opposition Christian Democrats, tabled the
parliamentary motion calling for the investigation, which
legislators passed unanimously late on Thursday.
It was prompted by concerns the ECB's ultra-low interest
rates are hurting Dutch savers, especially pensioners, and
doubts as to whether its bond purchasing programmes are legal,
Its findings will be presented in several months, by which
time the make-up of parliament will have changed dramatically.
While most Dutch voters say they favour retaining the euro,
the eurosceptic far-right party of Geert Wilders is expected to
book large gains though it is unlikely to win enough votes to
form a government.
The most probable outcome of the March 15 vote is a new
centrist coalition including some parties, such as Omtzigt's
Christian Democrats, that have been vocal in their opposition to
current ECB policy.
"The problems with the euro have not been solved," Omtzigt
said. "This is a way for us to look at ways forward with no
Thursday's motion instructs the Council to look at "what
political and institutional options are open for the euro," and
"what are the advantages and disadvantages of each."
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; editing by John Stonestreet)