‘I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t fully defend the policy’

‘I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t fully defend the policy’
‘I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t fully defend the policy’
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In conversation with De Zondag, Prime Minister De Croo fervently defends the policy of the current government, but at the same time he advocates a new political story after June 9.

On June 9i there will be federal elections. In the interview with De Zondag, Prime Minister De Croo is already taking stock of his government’s policy: ‘If you work together, a lot is possible in this country.’

De Croo lists the three achievements he is most proud of as Prime Minister: ‘One: our vaccination campaign was the best in the entire world. First the weak, then everyone else. Two: there is no country in Europe that has protected purchasing power better than us. People have become richer, and that is because of the policy. For example, we have been very effective with our temporary unemployment and with energy support. And three: we are going to keep two nuclear power stations open longer.’

What are you most disappointed about?

The Croo: ‘About the urge to profile some parties. I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t fully defend the policy. Perhaps seven games is too much of a good thing. And when I look at the policy: I would have liked to implement a tax reform that widens the difference between working and not working. Unfortunately, the proposal that was on the table would have left too deep a hole in the budget.’

CD&V points the finger at you for its failure. You would not have granted the competent minister Vincent Van Peteghem because he is a fellow local.

The Croo: ‘That is small of them and it is above all a lie. Vincent and I worked on this file together. This wasn’t even in the coalition agreement.’

The biggest criticism comes from the derailed budget. “The situation is disastrous,” says economist Geert Noels in Het Laatste Nieuws. Agree?

The Croo: ‘No. Let me be clear: the budget must be better. But I think the criticism is completely exaggerated. Always that pessimism. I’m not going to participate in that. We do not have the worst budget in Europe at all. France, Italy, Slovakia, Malta: these are all countries that are doing worse. This government wanted to protect the economy in times of crisis. We succeeded in that too.’

Those one-off expenses are not the problem, most economists say. The problem lies deeper: in social security.

The Croo: ‘That is true and that is why the elections come at a good time. This government has also reformed, yes, but we have mainly protected. Now it’s time to shift the focus. How do we get our budget in order? So how do we get more people to work? How do we invest more in defense and security? These are the challenges of the future. That is why our country now needs a new dynamic, a new political story and a new coalition agreement. And so it is good that elections are coming now. My party has put forward a clear budget path for the next five years. I hope that all parties do that.’

Can you write that new story with the same seven government parties?

The Croo: ‘My experience is that it is easier with fewer parties. So I hope that the next government will have fewer parties. But those are one of those questions… Let the voter express themselves first and then we’ll see. I will say this: the next government must have a socio-economic focus. Getting more people to work: that will be the priority. The difference between working and not working must therefore be at least 500 euros.’

The article is in Dutch

Tags: dont understand doesnt fully defend policy

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