13 Sep 2012

Euro and eurozone crisis dominate Dutch election

8:04 am on 13 September 2012

The euro and the eurozone debt crisis will dominate the general election in the Netherlands when voters go to the polls on Wednesday.

Deutsche Welle reports all the main contenders are trying to use their view of the situation to attract voters - be it the Liberals, Labour or the Socialist Party.

The Socialists have enjoyed a increase in voter support, as the population becomes increasingly anxious about the handling of the euro debt crisis in Brussels.

The party is predicted to win more than 30 seats of the 150 in parliament - double what it currently enjoys.

Until recently, the SP played only a minor role in Dutch politics. But with the collapse of the previous government in April, the popularity of the political parties has shifted.

Deutsche Welle reports that what triggered this was a dispute within the government regarding an EU austerity package.

In order to get the budget deficit down to below 3% to meet EU requirements, the government had to make cuts of around 14 billion euros in public spending.

The Party for Freedom then withdrew its support of the government in protest against the budget cuts.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, resigned, prompting the election.