D-Mark Geldschein

Euro gleich Teuro?

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Der Euro in Europa - Niederlande

Netherlands

Jobs
Unemployment has risen sharply since the Netherlands joined the euro. The rate has traditionally been low in the Netherlands, but the trend since the euro is clear. Dutch unemployment was 2 percent in 2001, 2.7 percent in 2002 and is forecast to rise to 3.5 percent in 2003 (OECD).

Growth
The Dutch economy is running close to stagnation, with GDP growth of 0.2 percent in 2002, compared to an already sluggish 1.3 percent in 2001.

Inflation
The euro has clearly brought higher inflation to the Netherlands. Average inflation in the years 1993 to 1998 was 1.7 but inflation in 2002, the year after euro notes and coins were introduced, was over double that, at 3.9 percent.

Spending cuts
In an attempt to adhere to the Stability Pact, the 2003 Dutch budget aims to cut public and government spending and increase taxes. Expenditure cuts are taking the form of a reduction in the number of civil servants and a reduction in the flow of subsidies from the central government to the Dutch regions. In September 2002, the Dutch government unveiled spending cuts of €3.5bn. The Dutch Finance Minister said, “no-one is going to cheer but it has to happen” (FT, 18 September).

Prices and public opinion
A survey by the Bureau European des Unions Consommateurs, a European consumer agency, on price rises found that restaurants in Holland have increased their prices by 10 percent, video hire is up 18 percent, fresh vegetables up 25 percent and CDs are up 8.8 percent. A survey by Eurostat showed that 94 percent of Dutch people think that prices have gone up since the introduction of euro notes and coins and over 80 percent still think in Guilders when making purchases. Another survey showed that 54 percent of Dutch wanted to return to the Guilder.

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