Dutch PM, partner agree on EU summit position
AMSTERDAM, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his future coalition partner outlined on Thursday their common position on how to tackle the euro zone crisis ahead of a European Union summit next week, calling for broader banking supervision and fiscal discipline.
In the first debate since elections on the euro zone, Rutte's Liberal Party, and Labour, both pro-European, also jointly expressed skepticism towards European Council President Herman Van Rompuy's plan of a single euro zone budget.
Rutte is in coalition talks with Labour leader Diederik Samsom and is expected to form a government within weeks.
The election result last month helped put to rest fears the Netherlands would block future bailouts or prove a difficult partner in solving the crisis.
Rutte and Labour finance specialist Ronald Plasterk, who is seen as one of the possible successors to Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager, agreed on the need to first implement European banking supervision, and then take further steps of creating a banking union.
"How can you make sure that the Dutch deposit holder is not guaranteeing accounts at banks in Italy, Austria or Spain when we don't know what's happening there? That is exactly the reason why we are building this up step by step," Rutte said.
Plasterk used similar words, and said: "We agree with anyone who says that now you cannot fully guarantee toxic banks in Spain. You have to make sure that there is decent supervision."
Rutte reiterated the Dutch position of meeting fiscal rules in Europe, cutting budget deficits, and reforming economies.
Plasterk said his party had always been positive about budget rules, adding there was a tension between meeting financial conditions and stimulating the economy. Labour is open to giving countries more time to meet fiscal targets.
Rutte and Plasterk also questioned the need for a single euro zone budget, which has been proposed by Van Rompuy.
Rutte said he would discuss it next week at a European Council summit, where European leaders will discuss Van Rompuy's proposals to solve the region's debt crisis.
"We have 100 billion euros in structural fund means available for the euro zone alone. I don't understand what purpose this serves. I'd also like to know -- and I will ask this next week -- how this relates to the long term financial European Union framework," Rutte said.
Speaking about Van Rompuy's proposal of a single euro zone budget, Plasterk said: "We don't see the advantages of it for now. Adding another institute, we are not in favour of this."
On Greece, Plasterk reiterated Labour was willing to give it "some room" to get its finances in order, while Rutte declined to repeat his statement last month during the election campaign that he was not willing to give a penny more to Greece.
Any statement about Greece could impact financial markets and developments in Greece, Rutte said.
(Reporting by Gilbert Kreijger; editing by Ron Askew)
Keywords: EUROZONE DUTCH/SUMMIT