NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 23:37
The last debate between the party leaders for the provincial elections was fierce at times. The coalition and opposition did their best in the provincial house in Den Bosch to win over the still floating voters. Tomorrow’s result will not only have significance for the provinces, but also indirectly for relations in The Hague.
The latest polls show that the government coalition of VVD, D66, CDA and ChristenUnie will lose many seats in the Senate and will need even more support from opposition parties to get laws passed. The Senate is elected at the end of May by the members of the Provincial Council.
In the background of the debate, the farmers could sometimes be heard, who had surrounded the Provinciehuis with tractors. The approach to nitrogen problems, which largely ends up on the farmer’s plate, received a lot of attention in the debate.
Land of farmers
Party leader Ouwehand of the Party for the Animals got into trouble with BBB forewoman Van der Plas when she said that half of the land in the Netherlands is “confiscated” by farmers. Van der Plas found the use of that term polarizing. “It’s just land owned by farmers who have been farming there for years, sometimes for centuries,” she said vehemently.
ANPSigrid Kaag (D66) Esther Ouwehand (PvdD) and Caroline van der Plas (BBB) during the debate
Van der Plas, who according to the polls may be the big winner tomorrow, argued for a long-term vision of space in the Netherlands. “Who needs which space in 2050?”. According to her, this should not be laid down in a boarded-up coalition agreement, but in a ‘regional agreement’, in which the implementation is left entirely to the provinces.
D66 leader Kaag emphasized that our country is now in an acute crisis, which requires immediate action. In order to solve the nitrogen problem, the herd must be halved, she says. There is 24 billion euros available for farmers to stop voluntarily, but if that fails, expropriation must also be possible.
In previous debates it turned out that Kaag’s coalition partners think somewhat differently about this. The CDA and ChristenUnie in particular believe that the year of 2030, when the goals must be achieved according to the coalition agreement, is “not sacred”.
PvdA leader Kuiken opened the attack on Baudet of Forum for Democracy in the debate. Baudet believes that the cabinet is taking land from farmers in favor of solar panels and wind turbines. He also does not believe that humans have much influence on climate change.
Kuiken lashes out at Baudet: “Maybe he has a pair of brown boots”
“Mr. Baudet has never seen a farmer up close. Maybe he has a pair of brown boots at home,” Kuiken sneered. After the debate, she said that maybe she shouldn’t have made that comparison with the boots of the Nazis, but that she does support the content.
She finds Baudet a danger to democracy, because in her eyes he spreads conspiracy theories, which leads to threats against journalists and scientists. “The party is getting smaller, but no less dangerous.”
The last debate block was about the waning confidence in the government and politics. According to PVV leader Wilders, this is largely the fault of Prime Minister Rutte. “You’ve done too much damage.”
Rutte emphasized that the country has emerged from the economic crisis under his leadership. “And what have you done?”, he asked Wilders. “Your positions have become more and more extreme, you are on the flanks and do not participate.”
Watch the debate in fragments below. Would you rather watch the entire debate? You can do this via NPO Start.
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