Majority of Dutch want Greece out of euro zone - poll
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A majority of Dutch voters, or 54 percent, want Greece and other peripheral countries thrown out of the euro rather than rescued, according to a poll taken ahead of parliamentary debates on euro zone bailout measures.
Recent opinion polls have shown that Dutch taxpayers are increasingly disenchanted with the enormous financial cost of rescuing euro zone members, views which could well influence parliamentary debates this week and affect parliament's support for such bailouts at a key vote due in October at the earliest.
The poll followed another week of financial market turmoil, in which France's triple-A credit rating came under scrutiny and the European Central Bank had to step in to buy Italian and Spanish sovereign bonds in a bid to restore stability.
A Maurice De Hond poll published on Sunday showed that 60 percent of those surveyed wanted the Netherlands to stop lending money to other euro zone countries. A week ago, 55 percent said support should not be extended to Spain and Italy if they needed it.
Just under half, or 48 percent, said the euro's negatives outweighed its benefits.
A separate poll, commissioned by Dutch newspaper AD and published on Saturday, found that 48 percent of those questioned wanted out of the euro and a return to using the Dutch guilder.
The fiscally conservative Netherlands has been among the more demanding euro zone countries in the bailout debate, insisting on private sector and IMF involvement, aware of the risk that Dutch public support is fading.
The Liberal-Christian Democrat coalition relies on the support of its main ally, Geert Wilders' Freedom Party, to pass legislation, but Wilders is strongly opposed to euro zone bailouts and has said his party will vote against such rescues.
That means the government will need the support of opposition parties when official voting on some of the rescue measures which have not yet been approved takes place, in October at the earliest.
Opposition parties Labour and Democrats 66 have so far supported all the bailouts and on Saturday again reiterated their support on Dutch public radio, despite public discontent, because the single currency brings trade benefits.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager will appear before parliament's finance committee to discuss the Greek bailout and additional rescue measures agreed last month by European leaders.
A follow-up debate is tentatively scheduled in parliament the next day, when voting on motions filed by members of parliament could also take place, indicating the degree of parliamentary support.
Rutte told reporters on Friday the Netherlands had benefited from membership of the euro because it was an export-oriented economy that sold most of its goods to other euro zone members.
The prime minister apologised for creating confusion over private sector involvement in the Greek bailout after he and the finance minister announced different figures for the overall size.
Labour, the biggest opposition party which is important for reaching majority support, and Democrats 66, said they still wanted more details from Rutte about the cost of bailouts.
(Editing by Sara Webb and Mike Nesbit)
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