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Inflation in the Netherlands rises to almost 12 percent

The price that Dutch citizens have to pay because the US wants Ukraine to join NATO, is becoming quite steep.

Published: April 2, 2022, 9:43 am

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    Prices in the Netherlands have risen extremely fast since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), inflation rose to almost 12 percent last month.

    In February inflation was 7,3 percent. An initial calculation shows inflation in March at 11,9 percent. Ukrainian president Zelensky has meanwhile found time to also admonish the Dutch cabinet for which he received a standing ovation.

    Inflation in the Netherlands has been around the highest level in decades for some time now. That is because energy prices and fuel tariffs at the pump had already increased considerably before the conflict in Ukraine. This is partly due to the rapid economic recovery from the Corona crisis, which has created scarcity for many raw materials and also personnel in certain sectors.

    The Russian operation in Ukraine subsequently boosted prices even more. Since then, the oil and gas markets have been very concerned that the fuel supply from Russia could dry up. And because energy is becoming more expensive, many other products are also going up in price. Energy is needed to manufacture goods. Companies then pass on their higher costs to consumers.

    Hiding the truth

    The Dutch government has already tried to implement measures to ease the pain for Dutch consumers. On Friday, an excise duty reduction came into effect, which means that motorists would save a little at the pump – about 8 euros per fill-up. Nevertheless, this kind of support from the cabinet cannot prevent the Dutch from declining in purchasing power this year, Prime Minister Mark Rutte has already warned.

    Statistics Netherlands released the figure on Friday following the announcement of eurozone inflation by the European statistical office Eurostat later in the day. The European “harmonized method” was used, which was created to allow a comparison of inflation data from different European countries.

    The calculation differs from the usual way in which Statistics Netherlands calculates inflation. Those regular figures will however not be published until April 7.

    The financial consequences of 12 percent inflation cannot be compensated for by the government. That is what State Secretary Marnix van Rij (Tax Office) on Friday told the Council of Ministers.

    The package of compensation measures that the cabinet announced earlier is not sufficient, according to van Rij. But the “exorbitant increase” of 12 percent that the Central Bureau of Statistics calculated for March “cannot be made up in purchasing power”.

    “We will of course wait and see how it develops in the coming weeks and months,” said the minister about the high price increases. The last time inflation was this high was in the 1980s, Van Rij recalled. Yet one cannot compare the situation with the seventies or eighties since there are very low interest rates, which was “an advantage” he said.

    Ukrainian refugees

    Invoking state emergency law, mayors in the Netherlands are now obliged to organize the reception of Ukrainian refugees. State Secretary Eric Van der Burg announced this after the cabinet meeting on the war in Ukraine. If mayors do not cooperate, they will be sanctioned by the Minister of Justice.

    It is a law that has only been enacted twice since the Second World War: Once during the oil crisis to regulate car-free Sundays and once to regulate the Corona curfew.

    Now this emergency law is being dusted for the third time because the government is bracing for impact, according to Dutch outlet Nieuwsuur.

    “Draconian measures are coming. The State Secretary is taking the first legal step for this,” reporter Arjan Noorlander commented.

    Zelensky’s speech boycotted by Thierry Baudet’s FvD party

    The FVD denounced the invitation of President Zelensky to address the Dutch House of Representatives.

    The party members were absent during his speech and from the ensuing parliamentary debate while the PVV applauded the Ukrainian leader.

    “Zelensky’s planned speech to the Dutch House of Representatives represents a radical break with a democratic tradition that has existed for over 170 years. Never before in the history of Dutch democracy has a foreign head of state spoken in the House of Representatives.

    “There is a good reason for this: democratic decision-making in the Dutch parliament should be entirely independent, shielded from foreign influence and unhindered by foreign interests,” the FvD noted in a statement.

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