World Bulletin/News Desk
Dutch voters are split over whether the government should stick to its EU budget target as the country heads for an election on September 12 dominated by the euro sovereign debt crisis and austerity measures, an opinion poll published on Sunday showed.
The poll, and another published at the weekend, showed Prime Minister Mark Rutte's pro-euro Liberal Party (VVD) and the far-left Socialist Party (SP) vying for lead position to form a coalition government in one of the few euro states to retain a full set of top AAA credit ratings. In a Maurice de Hond poll published on Sunday, 48 percent of those polled said the budget deficit could be higher next year than the EU's deficit ceiling, and 48 percent agreed that the
economy would suffer too much if the target was kept.
However, 58 percent of those polled said they thought it was irresponsible of Socialist leader Emile Roemer, who some polls show could become the next prime minister, to say the Netherlands would refuse to pay an EU penalty if it did not comply with the budget limit.
The poll put the Socialists ahead with 36 seats in the 150-seat parliament, followed by the Liberals with 32. An Ipsos
poll on Friday evening showed Rutte's party winning 35 seats, ahead of the Socialists with 29.
Whichever party wins the most seats would need to form a coalition from four or five parties given the country's
fractured political landscape. As campaigning gained momentum last week, politicians clashed over the Netherlands' commitment to meet EU rules by bringing its budget deficit down to below 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by next year.
The Dutch deficit is expected to be 4.2 percent of GDP in 2012, but Rutte's care-taker government has promised it will fall to 2.9 percent, below the EU target, by a deadline of 2013.
Rutte's coalition collapsed in April when his ally, Geert Wilders, refused to support billions of euros of budget cuts to
meet the EU target. Within days of the collapse, Rutte's care-taker government won support from three opposition parties for the budget measures.
Kazakhstan has overtaken Australia as the lead supplier of uranium for US reactors.
Depreciation of emerging market currencies, combined with low commodities prices, have made investors around the globe nervous
Global growth at further risk from Chinese asset price deflation, and US interest rate increases, Moody's says
Traders fear Chinese government will withdraw support measures markets
European Commission president 'convinced' three-year plan will boost investment in EU
Deal aims to bolster fight against tax fraud through exchange of financial information on Turks holding accounts in US and vice versa
Vessels were delivered to port of Alexandria on June 17
The economic cost of violence according to the 2015 Global Peace Index has reached a staggering $14.3 trillion with Syria the least peaceful country.
The leading opposition lawmaker has said that Turkish President Erdogan is open to all possiblities for a coalition.
Qatar has filed a lawsuit against the leader of the National Front in France for his comments regarding "terror" activities.
Saudi Arabia will put in place an electronic bracelet system for all pilgrims visiting the country to perform their Hajj duties.
After U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated that the central bank was poised to raise interest rates, European stock markets fall.
Italian company Enel will invest 18 billion euro for renewable energy sources in Africa.
Azerbaijani president said in a statement that Southern Gas Corridor project will supply neighboring and European countries for a 100 years
Oil prices rose above $60 due to Iran's call for oil production cut
Economic growth in the Euro-Zone is not at desired levels.