Foreign Minister Vilbev (Mining) described the course of events last week regarding the welfare claim from Groningen residents as an “embarrassing proposition”. “That’s why we added extra money,” he said at the county government building in Groningen on the first day of his work visit.
Residents of the earthquake zone were able to apply for a subsidy of 10,000 euros last Monday to improve their homes, but that turned out to be a mess. People lined up for hours and it was also hard to get to the internet.
In addition, the support amount of 220 million euros turned out to be insufficient, which led to many families fishing behind the net. Therefore, the Cabinet announced a few days later that the amount will be increased to 250 million euros.
“I was ashamed of the government, it wasn’t,” says Felpree. “It doesn’t have to be like that anymore and it won’t be in the next round either.” Last week, the foreign minister wrote in a letter to Parliament that he regretted the situation.
The mood among Groningen residents dropped to a new low at the beginning of this month. The previous cabinet announced at the last minute that more gas may have to be extracted from the Groningen field this year than planned. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, this is necessary to fulfill obligations to Germany.
Actions, not words
Villebrew will see if anything can be changed about the intent. Among other things, he wants to talk to his German counterpart. “I don’t promise anything, but I will do my best. I am a man of actions, not words.”
The intent to extract the additional gas and the wrangling surrounding the subsidy plan were among the reasons why many Groningen residents took to the streets on Saturday.
Thousands protested with torches in the center of the regional capital to demand more respect from politicians in The Hague:
“Lifelong zombie fanatic. Hardcore web practitioner. Thinker. Music expert. Unapologetic pop culture scholar.”