Pride Comes before Fall: the Melting Wings of the Netherlands

On the 2nd of March, a fiscal agreement was signed by the members of the euro zone. The agreement enshrines stricter budgetary rules in a new treaty, called the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union. The treaty will be subject to referenda in the euro zone states in the coming months. Germany and the Netherlands have been asking for strict compliance of budget rules and harsh austerity measures since the beginning of the euro crisis in 2008; some might even argue that these have been main points of argument since the convergence criteria of the Economic Monetary Union were anchored in the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. However, it seems that the new fiscal agreement may backfire on the Netherlands, which looks unlikely to meet the criteria it has been working so hard to impose.