Dutch pro-government politician’s expenses fraud scandal


Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, cartoon

This is a cartoon of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The political poster of Rutte‘s VVD party on the left side of the cartoon says: ‘Don’t solve problems, take money from poor people. VVD. Care. For your own greed‘.

The VVD is the biggest party in the Dutch coalition government, with the PvdA as its junior partner.

VVD pro-‘free market’ policies are similar to the Conservative party in Britain (officially, they are a sister party of the Liberal Democrats, junior partners of the Conservatives in the British government); though they lack the Conservatives’ links to the religious Right.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Pressure on VVD leaders about position of MP Verheijen

Today, 14:54

The pressure on the party leadership about the position of Member of Parliament Mark Verheijen is increasing. Many VVD members wonder why he ‘gets special protection’, NOS heard.

The VVD supporters outside The Hague do not understand why Verheijen may remain as an MP: “Disgraceful that the party covers this up. Some people have been sacked for lesser scandals.” …

Verheijen two days ago was discredited when daily NRC wrote that he had claimed thousands of euros too many as expenses when he was a county executive member in Limburg province. Verheijen says it was a smaller amount [than what NRC wrote]. But he acknowledged: “I’m a politician, not a saint” and promised to repay the money.

VVD parliamentary party leader Zijlstra took his side: “The story is simply inflated.” “Verheijen will pay back everything. I feel the story is very much exaggerated”, Prime Minister Rutte added as VVD party leader.

Limburg

Limburg people Verheijen and former councilor and senator Jos van Rey know each other well. In 2012, when Van Rey and his business partner Piet van Pol had been discredited, Verheijen went to dine with them, as NRC revealed.

The meal cost 2631 euros, including wine bottles of 127 euros each. Van Pol paid this with his credit card. Verheijen said this week that such amounts do not fit into the austerity required from an official.

Unrest and anger

In the days after the debate flared up within the VVD, including the VVD MPs. Then yesterday the question was asked why Verheijen may stay, while MP Leegte was sacked immediately as spokesperson on gas when he had been calling aloud while in the train.

In that phone call, MP Leegte discussed dirty tricks the VVD might use against the anger in Groningen province about earthquakes, damaging homes, caused by the gas corporations.

Political reporter Wilma Borgman: “I notice a lot of unrest and anger in the grassroots of the party. Especially the extent to which Verheijen gets special protection. An important consideration is that the VVD does not want damage in the run up to the provincial elections. I hear that MPs who have to deal with benefits claimants are wondering how to explain this to people on benefits.”

Integrity

The VVD in May 2013 wrote an integrity code in response to the commotion about Van Rey, who is under criminal investigation for corruption. Verheijen was heard as a witness in the corruption case against Van Rey and Van Pol. He denies himself to be guilty of conflict of interest.

Political reporter Wilma Borgman: “The issue of Van Rey, where also Verheijen is indirectly involved, now plays an important role, it would not surprise me if at this moment there are talks with Verheijen on his position.”

Update: Prime Minister Rutte keeps defending Verheijen. The party branch in Menaldumadeel in Friesland province demands that Verheijen should be sacked. They say Verheijen does not only damage the VVD, but all politics in the Netherlands.

The VVD youth organisation criticises Rutte on the Verheijen scandal: here.

Limburg business Taurus sues Verheijen about corruption: here.

Verheyen organised VVD propaganda rally at flower exhibition’s expense: here.

UPDATE: Verheijen resigns as MP.

See also here.

13 thoughts on “Dutch pro-government politician’s expenses fraud scandal

  1. Pingback: Dutch wannabe wolf-killing fraudster politician quarrels with his party | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Collaborate with dictators, Dutch government party advocates | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: ‘TTIP treaty should not undermine democracy’, Dutch parliament says | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Dutch soldiers killed unarmed people, government lied | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Extreme right anti-refugee violence, politician’s xenophobia in the Netherlands | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Dutch prime minister’s party wants ‘refugee-free’ neighbourhood for themselves | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: European Union pressure on Greece for yet harsher anti-refugee measures | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  8. Pingback: Dutch politician arrested for violence | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  9. Pingback: ‘Stop selling Dutch weapons to Saudi Arabia’ | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  10. Pingback: ‘Ridiculous’ European Union politicians’ photo | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  11. Pingback: Dutch schools should teach about LGBTQ equality, parliament decides | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  12. Pingback: Dutch government party Trump-like anti-journalism on financial scandal | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  13. Pingback: Somali-Dutch woman’s election victory after racist abuse | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.