©Albert Jan Rasker
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It was proven once again this week: in the Netherlands, as the Dutch saying goes: ‘De koopman wint het altijd van de dominee,‘ i.e., the merchant always wins out over the minister.

The inept defense of the the Minister of Foreign Affairs in front of the entire Dutch House of Representatives was especially mortifying because it took place immediately after the inspiring speech given by Volodymir Zelenski.

The latter reminded our country the importance of fighting against common oppressors (in the case of the Dutch, the Spanish and the Germans) and implored us to supply his country with additional weapons. Weapons that are necessary to keep the murderous regime at bay which has been trying to destroy his country for 40 days without success.

In the ensuing debate, the minister of foreign affairs had to humiliatingly confess that in trying to enact sanctions against Russia, the Netherlands had ran into a wall of rules. Rules that make it impossible to thwart the Russian oligarchs.

Call it sheer impotence. Call it a coalition of the unwilling. It really doesn’t matter. In times of war, there is usually a government leader who stands up and takes charge of the unruly rabble. Whereas here in the Netherlands, the prime minister says he does not want to interfere with the policy of a fellow minister.

Given that the temperature in the Netherlands is supposed to be set 2 degrees C lower nationwide starting this weekend – because we have not purchased enough gas – the following discussion is bound to take place over the coming months:

– Should we plant our fields with solar panels or with substitute crops?

– Or should we really go for vegetables from an innovative greenhouse?

The materials and the means are available, now all that remains is to make the decisions. Time for the cabinet to act.

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