Package for Groningen ‘feels like an insult’

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The left-wing opposition in the House of Representatives is not yet satisfied with the plans that the government has for the earthquake area in Groningen. The investment amount of 22 billion euros, of which only part is ‘new money’, ‘feels like an insult’, says Groningen SP MP Sandra Beckerman.

‘The State has earned 400 billion from gas extraction,’ says Beckerman. ‘And the people of Groningen have plunged into deep misery. Then this is far too little.’ She points out that not only was part of the money set aside earlier, but that the plans are by no means all new. More actions are needed to restore trust. “You’re not going to make it with this.”

(VLNR) Henk Nijboer (Pvda), Sandra Beckerman (SP) and Jesse Klaver (Groenlinks). The left-wing opposition is not yet satisfied with the cabinet’s plans for the earthquake area in Groningen. (ANP / ANP)


PvdA member Henk Nijboer calls State Secretary Hans Vijlbrief (Mining) ‘sincere’ and thinks he hits ‘the right tone’. The social democrat is silent about the actions of Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who endorsed the conclusions of the parliamentary committee of inquiry on behalf of the cabinet in Garmerwolde in Groningen and again apologized.

Nijboer has many questions and concerns about the package of measures. Claims of up to 40,000 euros are handled more smoothly, while the biggest problems, he says, occur with the larger claims. The investment plans in quality of life and sustainability do not convince Nijboer either. ‘It’s a bit of a grab bag of small projects without a clear vision.’

Damage repair

GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver thinks it is up to the people of Groningen to judge whether the cabinet is doing enough to pay off the ‘debt of honor’. He does think it is ‘incorrect’ that the cabinet adds money for the settlement of claims to the total amount. You are entitled to damage compensation. You shouldn’t put an amount on that, you should do what is necessary, as long as it is necessary.’

The package for Groningen can count on approval from the government party VVD. MP Daniel Koerhuis is pleased with the planned investments in new asphalt, which he believes will be good for employment in the seaports. ‘We have to give Groningen the space to continue to provide those jobs.’

‘Bureaucratic Hell’

His party colleague Jeroen van Wijngaarden points out that no amount of money can take away the ‘bureaucratic hell’ that the government has caused in Groningen. ‘This government response is a serious attempt to put an end to that hell and to offer Groningen perspective.’

CDA member Henri Bontenbal calls the cabinet’s apologies ‘a first step in restoring confidence in politics and government.’ The CDA will hold the cabinet to the promises made, he assures.

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