Despite the rhetoric surrounding this week's G-20 meeting, not every European government opposes additional fiscal stimulus measures. Late last week, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende outlined the government's plans to "invest heavily in the Netherlands' future" beginning with a €6 billion stimulus package. The government expects the stimulus package will boost the economy by €50 billion in 2009 and 2010 and will be concentrated on the following primary areas:  

  • Work and economic activity - Keeping as many people in their jobs as possible, providing additional part-time unemployment benefits and preventing youth unemployment.
  • Clean and innovative economy - Investments in sustainability, energy security and innovation, specifically programs for scrapping old cars and for insulating homes.
  • Infrastructure and construction - Developing maintenance plans for roads and waterways, as well as spending money on improving schools and hospitals or building new ones.
  • Restoring Public Finances - The extra stimulus investment will come on top of the €80 billion already spent on restoring confidence in the banking sector. To put public finances on a sound footing again, Mr. Balkenende further stated that the plan is to reduce the deficit by at least 0.5% of GDP each year, starting in 2011.