NOS News•Today, 10:56•Adjusted today, 14:14
The cabinet has sharply criticized the latest actions by farmers on the highways. Prime Minister Rutte speaks on Twitter of “a small group of farmers” and calls the dumping of rubble and arson unacceptable and life-threatening.
“Willingly endangering others, damaging our infrastructure and threatening people who help clean up is beyond all limits,” he says. in a statement on Twitter.
Minister Van der Wal for Nature and Nitrogen also finds endangering others “unacceptable”, a spokesperson for the department said in a written statement. In the same statement, Minister Staghouwer of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality says that he “strongly condemns” the radical actions of “a group of farmers” around highways and the intimidation of cleaning companies and threatening politicians.
On behalf of the cabinet, Van der Wal and Staghouwer make an urgent appeal to the farmers to sit down and talk to Remkes. The mediator appointed by the cabinet sent out the official letter of invitation on Tuesday to discuss the nitrogen plans with the cabinet at the beginning of August. He said on Tuesday that there is “room for all ideas”. Today he says through his spokesperson that it is an “open conversation”. “So without taboos and blockages.”
In the written statement, Staghouwer also speaks of “space” at Remkes’ table. But it is not clear whether the cabinet is also prepared to adjust the cabinet plan. The goal is to emit 50 percent less nitrogen by 2030. This was a reason for a number of agricultural organizations, such as LTO, not to participate in the talks, and many organizations have maintained this position until now.
‘This is terrorizing’
Prime Minister Rutte also calls on people to report if they are threatened. Yesterday and this morning, fires were started again on several highways by farmers who do not agree with the government’s nitrogen policy. That led to a lot of inconvenience.
Justice Minister Yesilgöz responded on Twitter last night. She said the farmers who “damage roads, cause fires and threaten people who come to clean up your mess” are rapidly losing understanding of their actions. “Where possible, the police will track you down. A criminal record has consequences,” she added. “Use your brain.”
D66 party chairman Paternotte believes that the cabinet should draw a “hard line” to keep the Netherlands safe. “Let’s really stop calling this ‘demonstrating’. This is terrorizing.”