New documents revealedHugo de Jonge admits he didn’t provide enough information about his role in the run-up to the Million Dollar Deal with Sywert van Lienden. A day before the parliamentary debate, the minister was furious that he had not told the full story about his involvement and contact with and around Sywert. Hundreds of additional app messages have since been posted. The opposition is not satisfied with the apologies and documents.
“The confusion now arising could have been prevented by reporting my contacts regarding Mr. Van Linden,” de Jong just wrote in a letter to the House of Representatives. I didn’t supervise it enough and I’m sorry about that. Even when I received questions from journalists at the time, I could have been more complete had I mentioned the above contacts in addition to the answers’.
De Jong did not want to speak to the press this afternoon:
De Jonge awaits a tough parliamentary debate tomorrow After revealing his personal involvement in the run-up to the massive order of mouth coverings that made Sywert van Lienden a millionaire in one stroke in the spring of 2020. Until last week, De Jonge continued to evade questions about his role in creating the controversial order. But little by little, it turns out that the CDA minister had a lot of contacts with and around Van Lienden.
“Hugo, at your request, I went to hug Siuert. This is almost a day job,” an anonymous person, presumably a government employee, wrote to the minister.
At Parliament’s request, the Cabinet has now shared hundreds of internal messages between De Jonge and then PvdA Minister Van Rijn for Medicare, between De Jonge and several senior officials and between De Jonge and Van Lienden. This gave rise to the image of the energetic wholesaler Van Lienden bombarding all his political contacts with offers.
Politicians complain among themselves about Van Lienden’s stance, for example when mouth covering supplier criticizes the National AIDS Confederation (LCH). “I find it very frustrating that he has been so negative about LCH, he has promised not to,” Martin Van Rijn wrote to Hugo de Jong on April 29.
This fits with the impression that the negative image of the government’s purchase of mouth masks was an important driver of doing business with Van Lienden. Remarkably: at the end of April – the controversial million-dollar request has already been submitted – Van Linden once again claims that he is presenting “without a motive for profit”.
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When Van Lienden presented his new show to Rutte and De Jonge on April 29 (“non-profit”), Van Rijn also reacts critically with regard to the content. Van Linden claims to be “transferring” to Doctors Without Borders, German dentists, “Greece etc”. “If the Netherlands wants, it can have many, many things tomorrow,” says van Linden.
Van Rijn then replies in a private conversation with De Jonge: “Van Linden has not yet lost stock in his online store (…) Threats with German and Greek dentists seem very unreasonable.”
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The documents also show that LCH’s so-called “VIP Team” received approximately 250 emails from what participants call “big players”. These are usually (possibly) politically sensitive emails that take a lot of time. Of these, 120 require more attention and time.
Much of the opposition is not satisfied with the cutting piles. Many documents are painted black, so the whole picture is still missing. De Jonge’s earlier apologies were also not well received.
Withhold information until the last minute, until there really is no other choice. Then say sorry. Is this where we stand with the new governance culture? GroenLinks leader Jesse Claver tweeted.
Farid Azerkan also believes that the new administration’s promised culture of “transparency and openness” is hard to find, he says in a tweet accompanied by a photo of a few pages painted in black varnish. He adds: “Shameless.”
A great miracle is needed
For PVV leader Geert Wilders, it is clear: ‘This is what corruption looks like. Get out!’ He says on Twitter. His fellow party member Fleur Ajima doesn’t want to wave no confidence before Thursday’s debate, but says “doesn’t look good” to de Jonge.,, The picture is getting more and more complete and that’s not in Hugo de Jonge’s favour. I find it too bleak. Should A great miracle is happening.”
Webern van Haga of the Haga Group is as assertive as Wilders. Only one conclusion matters to his party: “Put up, pack up, and go.” He writes that De Jong’s cabinet position is marked by “crimes and lies”. “One questionable political choice comes after another.”
The coalition parties VVD and D66 do not want to respond to the released documents and De Jonge’s apology. They want to wait for Thursday’s discussion about the cap deal.
Watch the video from last year in May, in which De Jonge avoids questions about his involvement.
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