Saturday, January 9, 2016

Dutch 'no' to Kiev-EU accord could trip EU crisis: Juncker.

Dutch 'no' to Kiev-EU accord could trip EU crisis: Juncker. (DS).

THE HAGUE: European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker urged Dutch voters Saturday not to oppose an EU cooperation deal with Ukraine, saying such a move "could open the doors to a continental crisis."

A citizens' campaign in the Netherlands spearheaded by three strongly eurosceptic groups garnered more than 300,000 votes needed to trigger a non-binding referendum on the deal, three months from now.

Observers said the vote, set for April 6, pointed more towards broader euroscepticism among the Dutch than actual opposition to the trade deal with Kiev, which fosters deeper cooperation with Brussels.

A Dutch 'no' "could open the doors to a continental crisis," Juncker told the authoritative NRC daily newspaper in an interview published Saturday.

"Let's not change the referendum into a vote about Europe," Juncker urged Dutch voters, adding: "I sincerely hope that (the Dutch) won't vote no for reasons that have nothing to do with the treaty itself."

Should Dutch voters oppose the deal, Russia "stood to benefit most," he said. Read the full story here.

Related:    Can the refugee crisis and subsequent rise of Extreme right make the EU fall apart?

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