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Dutch lacked empathy for southern virus plight, says finance minister | World

A man rides a bicycle by the Albert Cuypmarkt, after Amsterdam-Amstelland security region announced measures aimed at stopping/curbing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, in Amsterdam March 23, 2020. — AFP pic
A man rides a bicycle by the Albert Cuypmarkt, after Amsterdam-Amstelland security region announced measures aimed at stopping/curbing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, in Amsterdam March 23, 2020. — AFP pic

THE HAGUE, April 1 — Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra acknowledged yesterday that the Netherlands and some other EU countries had not expressed much empathy for southern Europe’s battle against Covid-19, but still declined to back common bonds.

Hoekstra spoke with private broadcaster RTLZ in reference to a meeting of eurozone finance ministers last Thursday where northern countries rejected a request by others for a common bond issuance to help countries like Italy and Spain weather the crisis.

“We were not empathetic enough, to the point that it has raised resistance,” Hoekstra told RTLZ.

“We did not succeed in conveying what it is we want to do,” he added.

Hard-hit countries including Italy and Spain called for eurozone

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