The Netherlands will pay the remainder of its bill to the European Commission not by the planned Dec. 1 deadline, but through installments by Sept. 1, 2015, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem announced on Friday.
Due to new measurements, calculations and re-calculations dating back to 2002, the Netherlands has to pay an unexpected surcharge of 642 million euros (about 797 million U.S. dollars) for the European Union budget last month. The Dutch government's first reaction to the news was that they were "unpleasantly surprised."
At a meeting in Brussels on Friday, European finance ministers reached a solution for the additional payments. The Netherlands still has to pay the whole amount, but has until Sept. 1, 2015 to do so.
"Given the circumstances, this is acceptable for the Netherlands," Dijsselbloem stated in a press release. "We will take a look at how the EC came to the figures which led to our surcharge."
Under the assumption that the figures and calculations are correct, the Netherlands will pay the additional tax. "The possibility of flexible payment is an important political signal," Dijsselbloem added. "This confirms that we are dealing with a very exceptional situation which must be avoided in the future."