Dutch politicians are generally regarded, both at home and abroad, as having a backbone akin to a jellyfish. So it comes as no surprise that the political establishment have seized upon an opportunity for cheap political capital whilst being able to give the false illusion of Dutch MP’s following their own rhetoric vis-a-vis austerity measures and belt tightening.
The Dutch have not had to endure the hair-shirt budgets as experienced in, for example, Ireland, Spain or Greece. But the political establishment here are hell-bent on cutting public spending and realigning budgets in areas that affect Jan and Rita Hollander so they can proudly say they are compliant with the EU’s fiscal budget restrictions, whilst neglecting to curb any spending that finds its ways into funding the coffers of the political elite in general….MP’s salaries, travel allowances and severence benefits all left untouched being a classic example.
So it is without a doubt a fortuitous event that Dutch MP’s have found a way of not appearing to not send anyone from either house to Euro 2012, and which they can attribute to their undying upholding of basic Human Rights and the right to a free and fair trial as their reasoning for not going to Ukraine, rather than the usual balderdash of budget constraints as heard in their usual verbose communiques….at least that’s their claim.
Yes indeed, Yulia Tymoshenko is the reason the Dutch are not going to Euro 2012. It appears that her plight is such a huge concern for members of the Dutch Upper and Lower houses. They are so concerned about her well being that they’re choosing not to go. They even managed to sound magnanimous by stating that no one should visit Ukraine until Tymoschenko’s situation improves.
True to form for the Dutch, rather than taking an ACTUAL political stand, such as refusing to allow the Dutch football team to partake in the competition, for example, they have instead decided that by somehow sitting at home and watching it on their TV is a truly effective way of making a real political statement. If you really wanted to make a political point, you would do something meaningful, by stopping your teams attendance and then escalating it to include trade and travel sanctions. Afterall, they did it to the Romanians when their flowers and veg was blockaded at the Romanian border last year.
Sadly though, I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up seeing MP’s and members of the Dutch royal family sitting in VIP boxes, lauding it up with their Ukrainian counterparts come match day.
And for those who won’t travel to Ukraine? Well there’s always Poland, isn’t there 😉