A large government delegation traveled to Groningen yesterday. In addition to Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Housing Minister Hugo de Jonge and Johan Remkes (head of the national program in Groningen) also went to the province. The Council of Ministers presented the plan it had drawn up for the region to the governorate officials.
Groningen announced last month that it wanted a large sum from the government over decades of gas extraction. The Netherlands has a “debt of honor” to clean up the mess in Groningen, and that includes extra money. This was the opinion of the commission that investigated the history of gas extraction in Groningen.
The King’s Commissioner in Groningen, Rene Basse, said last night after talking for hours that there had been “good consultations”. “We don’t agree on everything,” said Foreign Minister Hans Felberev of the mining company.
More than just an apple and an egg
According to the King’s Commissioner, the suggestions put forward by the Cabinet are “serious”. “We have announced what we want the government to deliver, and what we understand to be a credible response to the debt of honour,” Bass said.
What the government has come up with, the commissioner said, is “more than just an apple and an egg”, but that there is still a “huge gap”.
Chief Minister Rutte and other members of the government did not want to talk much about the consultations after the five-hour consultations at the provincial government building.
Talk about everything
State Secretary Villebreve said as he left the county house that “the whole board” was discussed: the damage and strengthening of homes in the quake zone, the economic prospects and well-being in the region.
“We’re not done yet. We’ll try to move a little further in the coming days.” By the way, follow-up talks are already planned, for example between him and Paas, as Filbreev confirms.
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