Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
By the way, going off on a tangent with a direct request to Bjinse: what's the view in the Netherlands? We are always dissing Hollande and Renzi as the useless centre-left, but with Dijsselbloem we have a social democrat who is an actual hawk in the arena. So what's the take by the local media and the parties?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Feb 24th, 2015 at 02:43:59 PM EST
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During elections in 2012, the Labour party made a great show to return to their more social-democratic roots and abandon the Third Way. Of course, the moment the right-wing VVD-Labour coalition was formed, this was largely shown to be hollow election rhetoric. Therefore, we're now halfway this scenario:

European Tribune - Dutch Elections: Rather Rutte Than Red

both parties sacrifice their core issues one at the time - sometimes left wins, the other time right wins. Some progress will be made, but Rutte is a tough negotiator and the Netherlands will likely remain stuck in the neoliberal rut if a deal is brokered. The danger for taking this route is that both parties will be decimated in the next elections by an increasingly disgruntled electorate.

It's election time again - this time for the Senate - and both coalition parties, but particularly Labour, are heading for a thorough drubbing.

Still. Both parties embraced austerity measurements from the get-go, which Dijsselbloem strictly executed. Likely, it even helped him to get the post as chairman in the first place, as the Dutch were so keen to follow the German line. In short: no one is surprised in any way Dijsselbloem is behaving as a fiscal hawk. That has been clear since the government formed.

As for national Dutch media ;) there is not too much either. Past Monday, the left-leaning morning newspaper carried a reconstruction how Dijsselbloem forged the deal last Friday: by sidelining Varoufakis, organising a series of bilateral talks, calling straight to Tsipras and bringing Varoufakis in only at the very end. Very little about what this all means economically. The overarching conclusion was: the Greek rebels smashed their teeth on the walls of the European system which prevailed as wont. Most, if not all, papers wrote this weekend about the 'capitulation' of Greece - though this is typical winner takes all journalism rah rah.

I conclude by psychoanalysing media behaviour on complete whim: The Netherlands are a small nation. We're (unconsciously) chuffed with Dutch peeps that landed themselves in Serious chairs. We analyse (mostly) how they perform (because optics), not how they behave according to their ideological colour. Labour is embracing Third Way politics & austerity now for so long, it's taken for granted and no longer even needs mentioning because everyone knows it, and really, we're far too tired to type about it because what's the point and the beer is waiting anyway.

by Bjinse on Tue Feb 24th, 2015 at 04:35:46 PM EST
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