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Netherlands: EU-Ukraine agreement voted down. Prime Minister Rutte in trouble, euro-sceptics cheer up

(Brussels) – The “day after” the referendum. All the EU institutions are taking about is the outcome of the Dutch advisory referendum about the partnership agreement between the European Union and Ukraine, entered into in 2014 and enforced just a few months ago, in the attempt to support Kiev’s reforms and increase economic and trade relations with the big Eastern country (partly – even if not expressly said – as a move against Moscow). In Holland, 32.2% of voters voted, so the quorum (30%) was reached: 61.1% of voters voted against the agreement, which had already been ratified by all the other European countries. Now, the The Hague’s government, led by Mark Rutte, who is also president of the EU Cabinet for these six months’ tenure, is at a crossroads and must understand where he stands in Parliament: whether to go on ratifying the international agreement or mediate with the EU and with Ukraine itself for a different position. Yesterday’s vote is clearly regarded as anti-European, so this cheers up the promoters of the referendum, backed up by Nigel Farage, leader of the British Euro-sceptics, who speaks of a “dress rehearsal” for the British referendum of 23rd June about the United Kingdom’s staying in the EU or not. Mark Rutte, who had promoted voting yes to the agreement with Ukraine, states: “The agreement cannot be ratified as it is now”.

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