August 22, 2019 / 6:47 AM / 6 months ago

Dutch government considers major investment push -paper

AMSTERDAM, Aug 22 (Reuters) - The Dutch government is considering pouring billions of euros in a new investment fund to finance future infrastructure and education projects, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported on Thursday.

The government would consider borrowing up to 50 billion euros ($55 billion) for the fund as it looks to profit from historically low and even negative interest rates on its loans, the newspaper reported, citing sources close to the government.

Plans for the fund are still under discussion, the paper said, and the amount invested in it could still change.

Details were expected at the presentation of the government 2020 budget plans on Sept. 17.

The Dutch Finance ministry could not immediately be reached for comment.

Growth in the Netherlands, the euro zone’s fifth largest economy, looks set to weaken due to Brexit, a looming recession in its major trading partner Germany and U.S. trade policies.

After years of austerity following the financial and European debt crisis, the Dutch government is currently running a budget surplus and has been steadily lowering its debt.

But, like Germany, it is often criticized by economic institutions such as the International Monetary Fund for not investing enough in projects that would strengthen its economy and stimulate growth elsewhere in the euro zone.

$1 = 0.9028 euros Reporting by Bart Meijer Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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