ANPM Minister Sigrid Kaag this morning before the start of the weekly Council of Ministers
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 12:54
Before the start of the Council of Ministers, Minister Sigrid Kaag’s colleagues in the cabinet reacted this morning to the message that her daughters want her to do something else quickly, because they fear for her safety. “This is very touching. It happens to her, but then it happens to all of us, the entire democracy,” says Deputy Prime Minister Wopke Hoekstra.
Hoekstra says he also has to deal with threats. “But they are of a different order, because the terrible extent to which she experiences it is fortunately less important to me and most others. But the impact is great for many. To be honest, I think there are few families of ministers who are cheering in the work we do.”
Minister Hugo de Jonge also had many conversations at home about the threats he receives. “There have been situations with some regularity where the kids wished I had had a different job,” he says. De Jonge found the TV fragment with Kaag’s daughters “really horrible” and “very impressive” to see and understands that the D66 deputy prime minister is thinking about perhaps quitting. He’d seriously consider that if he were her.
But although his family comes first, Hoekstra has not wanted to stop until now. “Because in the end you also want evil not to win. We must not let that happen together.”
Kaag about her son: “He absolutely does not want me to come over”
Kaag herself said this morning that she was completely surprised when she was confronted with the fragment in the College Tour program. She had expected her daughters to say something light-hearted, but that was not the case. She says that the question of whether she should stop is “a continuous consideration”, but is not an immediate issue right now. She still feels “firm” enough and the moment is not right. “There are no elections and we have been able to take major steps as a cabinet, so I also feel that responsibility.”
Kaag also said that the influence of the threat on her family goes so far that her son does not want her to visit him in his new home. He does visit her house, but the comments he gets as her son are “too personal, just not nice. You want to live your own life and not be yelled at like, hey, your mom this or that.”
Minister Christianne van der Wal does not want to comment on whether her children have ever asked her to stop. She points out that once, when talking to angry farmers on the front steps of her house, she made the “mistake” of saying her children were shaking indoors. “It bothers them to this day that I made that comment.”
She then decided to keep work and private life strictly separated. “My children see their mother at work and they see that there is always a threat, of course that does something to them.”
About the heartfelt cry of Kaag’s daughters on television, she says: “That is of course very important to me. That would also affect me enormously. But you cannot compare it to the situation I am in now. nor family.”
The recently departed ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers responded this morning on Radio 1 in a similar way: “I said to my wife and three daughters at home, also at the beginning when I became a Member of Parliament: you have a right of veto. I’m going to stop.” He does think, just like De Jonge, that you should postpone that decision as long as possible. “If you give in, you give in to harassment and blackmail. But at the same time, the most important thing you have is the family.”
Segers says that the climate has hardened since corona time and that people have also been at his door, “in a very intimidating way”. “I had to sign a lot of reports. There have been lawsuits against threateners. I never thought when I started that I would have to experience that.”
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