(Updates to make it clear the Council of State will look at
both how the euro could be made more stable as well as whether
withdrawal is possible)
By Toby Sterling
AMSTERDAM Feb 24 The Netherlands' future
relationship with the euro will be comprehensively debated by
its parliament following an election 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 adviser, coincides with a rising
tide of Euroscepticism, which populist parties are hoping to tap
into in the March 15 Dutch election as well as votes in the euro
zone powerhouses of France and Germany.
The report, which has no restrictions on its remit, could
examine whether it would be possible for the Dutch to withdraw
from the single currency, and if so how, said lawmaker Pieter
The motion called for the council to examine how the euro
could be made more stable, as well as the "political and
institutional options for its future".
The council's advice is non-binding, but influential.
Omtzigt, of the opposition Christian Democrats, put forward
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 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
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by John Stonestreet and