AOBTD: Dutch Govt. Flops over Afghanistan

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Another One Bites the Dust: The Dutch Government (Parliament Coalition) Collapses over the issue of staying in Afghanistan Saturday morning.  

The Dutch had been scheduled to end their participation in NATO’s mission in Afghanistan in August of 2010, with their troops to be out by December, but had been asked to stay longer.  Concerns over the Dutch budget deficit, which meant that either tax hikes or spending cuts were looming, doomed the coalition led by Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende’s government.

“I unfortunately note that there is no longer a fruitful path for the Christian Democrats, Labor Party and Christian Union to go forward,” Balkenende, who leads the center-right Christian Democrats, told reporters.

Balkenende wanted to extend the Dutch troop deployment in the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan past an August deadline, but Deputy Prime Minister Wouter Bos’s Labor Party opposed any extension.…

Parliamentary elections to form a new government could be held by the summer, but establishing a functional coalition between 4 or 5 parties to get a majority may take some finangling.

The Dutch have been participating in NATO’s Afghanistan occupation since 2006, and have lost 21 troops out of about 2000 deployed.


Per the BBC, NATO is reassuring the Afghans this Dutch development will not change NATO’s task and commitment:…

They (the Dutch)  should have returned home in 2008, but their deployment was extended by two years because no other Nato member state offered replacements.

A Nato spokesman said it would provide support to Afghans whatever happened.

“We have invested a lot in Afghanistan. We will continue to invest in Afghanistan because it is an investment in our own security,” Nato spokesman James Appathurai told the BBC.

Mr Appathurai said Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen believed the best way forward would be a new smaller Dutch mission, including a provincial reconstruction team to consolidate successes.

In related global economic crisis news, Iceland today got an offer from Great Britain and the Dutch on what to do about the repayment schedule for Iceland’s tanked Icesave Bank.…

An opposition party MP, Birgitta Jonsdottir, told AFP the British and Dutch proposal had to do with interest rates on the repayment being variable rather than fixed.

Britain and the Netherlands are requesting the reimbursement of billions of dollars (euros) from Reykjavik for compensating 320,000 British and Dutch savers who lost their money in the collapse of the online Icesave bank.

According to Reuters, the new deal the Dutch and British are offering is liked by the Icelandic Prime Minister.…

The main feature of the plan is a floating interest rate designed to ease Iceland’s burden as it repays $5 billion to the two European Union countries, a source familiar with the situation said on Friday.

Iceland owes Britain and the Netherlands more than $5 billion lost by savers when Icelandic bank Landsbanki collapsed in late 2008. The British and Dutch governments reimbursed their citizens, and now they want their money back.

Hmmm.  Want their money back.  Coincidence ?   Think not.  


    • dennis on February 21, 2010 at 20:06

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