Harsh words are used in the reactions from the Lower House to the report of the committee of inquiry. Many parties adopt the word ‘debt of honor’. The PVV concludes that the government has failed miserably and that the safety and health of the people of Groningen played no role. Party leader Wilders: “You already know a lot, but it shows once again how badly the people of Groningen have been treated.” According to him, Prime Minister Rutte should “bow his head to the people of Groningen and resign”.
The PvdA finds it unbelievable that it has come to this. PvdA Member of Parliament Nijboer says in response that the government has not protected Groningen residents and that he is touched by the conclusions: “Damage, repair and reinforcement must finally take place properly.” The party believes that investments should be made in facilities, quality of life and sustainability of the villages.
Consciously remained deaf
SP Member of Parliament Beckerman concludes that the people of Groningen have been deliberately destroyed by the Rutte cabinets. According to her, the painful thing about today is that there is little news in the report, but “that Groningen has been saying this for years and Rutte remained deaf”. According to her, the prime minister should “think very carefully after the benefits scandal and now this, gigantic scandals in which people have been destroyed by their own government”.
GroenLinks leader Klaver believes that the government has done something inhumane: “Various cabinets have put the financial interests of the state and the oil companies above the safety of the people of Groningen.” He wants the cabinet to take concrete action and not stop at fine words.
His Party for the Animals colleague Ouwehand speaks of harsh, painful and justified conclusions. She also believes that there was “unprecedented system failure with disastrous consequences”. And Denk foreman Azarkan reacts “with bewilderment”. Denk wants the government to adopt all the committee’s conclusions and recommendations.
Volt leader Dassen calls the committee’s findings yet another example of how thoroughly wrong the board culture is. According to SGP Member of Parliament Stoffer, it is a penetrating report. He also concludes that the focus has been on money instead of safety for too long. And BBB leader Van der Plas emphasizes that people in Groningen have not been listened to for years. “We have to make decisions now and give them satisfaction.”
Understanding the impotence
MP Van Wijngaarden of government party VVD understands the anger and impotence that many people feel. “The report is first and foremost a recognition for Groningen and its inhabitants and for what they have experienced all these years.” He wants the House to proceed “just as carefully and thoroughly” as the committee of inquiry.
MP Boulakjar of coalition partner D66 speaks of a solid report, which should be an important step “towards restoring confidence from and in Groningen”. His CDA colleague Mulder thinks it is a heavily charged and emotional day “with the poignant conclusion that the suffering of the people of Groningen has been systematically ignored”. She also wants “this debt of honor to be paid”.
According to party leader Bikker of the ChristenUnie, the investigation committee speaks clear language that calls for a careful follow-up. She also points to the task “to restore confidence in Groningen” and to do justice to all residents.” Bikker thinks it is most important that there is recognition, justice and perspective for all those affected.
- Committee of inquiry: gas extraction disastrous for Groningen residents, the Netherlands has a debt of honor