For Minister Dennis Wiersma, his transgressive behavior at the ministry does not seem to have any consequences for the time being. Some MPs are critical, while ministers respond mildly to the news that Wiersma is said to be shouting at his ministry and have thrown doors. De Telegraaf announced that Wiersma had exhibited transgressive behavior in his first year as minister. According to political reporter Sophie van Leeuwen, Wiersma is always ‘very friendly’ in the corridors. But in his first year as minister he apparently went out of his way on a regular basis.’
According to his spokesperson, Wiersma’s behavior is related to the minister’s ambitions. “But officials are now reporting it and some have also resigned. The atmosphere at the ministry appears to have been quite tense in the first year in which he was minister. That’s not pretty.’
According to Van Leeuwen, Wiersma’s inexperience may also have played a role. ‘He was new to the ministry, and I can imagine that as a newcomer you also want to bend such a ministry to your will.’ Incidentally, the reports came in after it became known that presenter Matthijs van Nieuwkerk has shown transgressive behavior. Van Leeuwen: ‘The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science also deals with the media. At the time, the ministry thought that Wiersma’s behavior should also be reported.’
No official complaint has been filed against Wiersma, who himself admits to having made mistakes. According to Van Leeuwen, the minister has also sought help. ‘For the time being, it will continue to promise to get better and to behave a bit more decently.’ That speaks for him, says Van Leeuwen. “If he has handled this properly, then there is nothing else to worry about.”
Wiersma will also get that message from his colleagues today, during the weekly Council of Ministers meeting, thinks Van Leeuwen. ‘But I can also imagine a joke towards Prime Minister Rutte. Because if anyone is shouting behind the scenes, it is Rutte himself. There have also been conflicts between Rutte and Minister Kaag. Behind the scenes things can get very heated in politics, that’s also part of the culture.’
Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf (D66) is formally the highest minister of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and says he has had ‘intensive talks’ with his colleague Wiersma. ‘I am confident that he has taken this signal very seriously and is also very active in adopting a better position as a minister and as a member of the team,’ says Dijkgraaf, who has sometimes called Wiersma ‘fiercely’. see speak.
Wiersma is bummed
Education minister Dennis Wiersma is disappointed that he has gone too far in his behavior towards civil servants, but is not thinking of resigning. ‘Of course I want to continue’, he says just before the Council of Ministers. ‘I find it very bad when people say: I have the feeling that I cannot say what I want in a meeting.’
As a result, the minister says he is also less able to do his job. When he became aware of the consequences, Wiersma says he started the conversation at his ministry so that he can improve. ‘I looked back last year and realized that I am sometimes fierce, sometimes too sharp,’ says Wiersma.
‘Certificate of Incapacity’
Members of the House of Representatives hardly respond to the transgressive behavior by education minister Dennis Wiersma towards his officials. Harm Beertema of the largest opposition party PVV says he is surprised about the report in De Telegraaf about this. The MP thinks it is good that the minister admits his mistakes. “I read a clear mea culpa and to his credit.”
Other MPs are less lenient. ‘Think of eruptions as a certificate of inability,’ says Derk Jan Eppink of JA21 on Twitter about the messages. “Better calm, and Florentine, proceed.” Peter Kwint (SP) also says he disapproves of the behavior