Rutte: conclusions about Groningen have come in hard, also for me personally

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Prime Minister Rutte during his press conference
NOS News

The conclusions of the parliamentary committee of inquiry in Groningen “have come in hard, also with me personally”. That is what Prime Minister Rutte said in response to the report Groningers above gas that was presented today. He does not yet want to respond substantively to that.

It is too early to say anything about the government’s response, Rutte said at his weekly press conference. “It’s a report of nearly 2,000 pages and it was just presented a few hours ago.”

The only thing that Rutte wanted to say to all questions from journalists is that he hopes that the report will contribute to an acceleration of dealing with the damage and, in particular, of strengthening homes. “Because that’s way too slow.”

He also hopes to regain “some confidence” from the people of Groningen. “But I realize that we have come a long way in that regard.” He said it is clear that there is a lot of work to be done.

‘Didn’t make a difference’

The parliamentary committee of inquiry draws firm conclusions, including about Rutte himself. He would not have done enough for the Groningen people and would not have made a difference.

Most of the report covers the period after 2012, when Rutte was already prime minister. And he would have underestimated the seriousness of the situation for a long time. He did not want to go into this either. “I really want to stage the report today.”

Earlier, State Secretary Vijlbrief called the conclusions very serious. “When you read all those facts in a row, it takes your breath away and that happened to me too. I mainly feel shame and that means we have to do something about it.”

State Secretary Vijlbrief on behalf of the cabinet: ‘The people of Groningen were always right’

Vijlbrief attended the presentation of the report in Garmerwolde, Groningen. He also sees it as “a helping hand” to do more for the inhabitants of the earthquake area. “But today is not a day for Hague discussions, today it should be about the people of Groningen and the suffering we have caused them.”

The State Secretary underlined that it has once again become clear that the people of Groningen were right from the start when they said that gas extraction led to earthquakes. For a long time there was a reaction to this with disbelief.

The government will respond in detail later. That won’t take too long, said Vijlbrief. Rutte could not promise that the reaction will come before the provincial elections on March 15.

  • Relief, but also distrust in Groningen after presentation of a hard report
  • Committee of inquiry: gas extraction disastrous for Groningen residents, the Netherlands has a debt of honor
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    Groningen gas

  • Politics

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