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.
When the system is in place citizens will be able to buy a limited amount of subsidised fuel, and will have to pay a normal, market price for any extra quantities.
Production in Upper Nile state's Paloch oilfields, where output has not been hampered by the conflict, stood at 159,000 barrels per day this week.
Dragomir Stoynev accused fellow European Union members of a politically-motivated attempt to scupper the project, and urged the bloc to understand the effect that doing so would have on its members.
The drops have come mainly because Japan did not take any cargoes in March and South Korea is not scheduled to take any shipments in April, according to the tanker data.
Japan's finance ministry and central bank have declined to comment on the payments.
But a survey shows that most people believe inflation is speeding up and could surpass 37 percent this year.
A fifth payment of $450 million was due on April 15, contingent on Iran having diluted half of its most sensitive stockpile of nuclear materials
The year-on-year inflation rate in the 18 countries sharing the euro was 0.5 percent in March against 0.7 percent in February, the European Union's statistics office Eurostat said.
Pushed by higher food and shelter costs, the consumer price index rose in March.
Country of origin labels are currently voluntary in the European Union and many of the bloc's governments want to keep it that way
While reverse flows would help cushion the effects of a Russian export cut during mild-demand summer months, analysts say they would not be sufficient in winter.
The tanker, Aegean Dignity, is due to take its load to Italy, the NOC quoted an oil official as saying in a statement on its website
TAP aims at enhancing the security of natural gas supply as well as diversification of gas supplies for the European markets.
Charlie Shrem, 24, was arrested in January and stepped down as vice president of the Bitcoin Foundation, a well-known trade group, soon after.
The religious endowments minister has ordered mosques not to run air conditioners before May 15 and after that date to use air conditioning only during prayer time