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And Derk Jan Eppink launched a scathing attack on his own Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, accusing him of being a “reverse Moses” and of selling out his countrymen, while suggesting the EU was now well on the way to becoming a “superstate”. At the end of the fractious four-day summit in Brussels – which at one point saw Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban accuse Mr Rutte of “hating him” – EU leaders finally signed off a massive package of measures worth €750billion.
Central to the deal was a concession to the so-called “frugal four” – the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and Sweden – whereby just €390billion will come in the form of non-repayable grants to revive the member states worst-hit by the pandemic, chiefly Italy and Spain.
The figure is significantly lower than the €500billion initially envisaged.
However, Mr Eppink, a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, was singularly unimpressed by the result.
There should be a national referendum on this Redistribution Plan
Derk Jan Eppink
He said: “Prime Minister Rutte sold us out. He should never have agreed to this end result.
“There should be a national referendum on this Redistribution Plan.
“Let the citizens decide for themselves about their money.”
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Contrasting Mr Rutte with the biblical figure who led his people out of Egypt, Mr Eppink said: “At this EU summit, Rutte turned into a ‘reverse Moses’.”
The Dutch would receive a slight discount in the forthcoming budget, Mr Eppink acknowledged – but pointed out taxes in his country were certain to rise sharply without the UK’s £9billion net annual contribution.
Mr Eppink added: “Once again it appears that we are the ATM for the EU.
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“I have said this in every debate in the European elections last year.
“Then I was laughed at. Only a year later it became a reality.”
What Mr Eppink referred to as the “European Debt Union” ran counter to the mandate of both the Dutch parliament (“asks the government not to agree to Eurobonds or other new forms of debt mutilation”) and the coalition agreement (“The EU should not become a debt community”) Mr Eppink pointed out.
He added: “We have to conclude that the EU is a train that is moving ever faster towards its final destination: EU Super State.
“This is not in the Dutch interest.
“The EU summit showed that the differences within the EU are so immense that the Netherlands has to give in every time.
“We are now in the trap of the Transfer Union.
“The government must refer this decision to the citizens in a referendum.
“Because in the end, they are the ones who have to pay.”
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