Economists Award Fail Mark to Premier Rutte
THE HAGUE, 28/05/13 - Leading economists have given Mark Rutte a fail mark. On average, they give him a 4.7 since his cabinet took office.
The economists were responding last week to a request by radio broadcaster BNR and Het Financieele Dagblad newspaper. The biggest factor that plagues the economy is the housing market, say half of the 22 economists surveyed. Lack of confidence among consumers comes second.
The economists are almost unanimous in their assessment of the cabinet’s measures to rein in unemployment. With one exception, they consider that the cabinet is not taking the right measures. Unemployment rose further in April to 8.2 percent.
But the economists are divided on the most realistic solution for unemployment. None of the six solutions put forward in the survey can count on a majority. Three economists say they themselves do not know what the most realistic solution is either.
Former Social Affairs Minister Willem Vermeend, professor of fiscal economics at the University of Maastricht, criticises the austerity trend of the cabinet. “You must never make cutbacks in a crisis. I find Rutte an enthusiastic premier, but it is not a matter of Mark Rutte but of the policy. And this policy is counter-productive.”