Secretary of State in the Netherlands dismissed for questioning the covid pass

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The Hague, Sep 25 (EFE) .- The Secretary of State for the Economy of the Netherlands, Mona Keijzer, was dismissed this Saturday by the acting prime minister, Mark Rutte, after questioning in an interview the use of the covid pass in the hospitality and the cultural industry, coinciding with a day starring protests against this restriction.

The statements made by the senior official in the newspaper De Telegraaf “are not compatible with the decisions recently taken by the Council of Ministers, which are of an important and weighty nature,” so that, after consultations within the Government, their “Immediate dismissal”, already accepted by the king, Rutte reported in a statement.

The interview was published this Saturday, the day on which the mandatory covid pass came into force to access bars, restaurants, theaters, cinemas and other hospitality venues or cultural industry events, which also puts an end to the rules of social distancing.

The Christian Democrat Keijzer (CDA) pointed out in that interview that she realizes “that it is increasingly difficult to explain to people why the pass (covid) is needed in one place, but not in another”, and questioned this restriction referring to the high vaccination rate and the low hospital admissions currently registered in the Netherlands.

“A society in which you have to be afraid of everyone except those who can show a little walk, should make us think and ask ourselves if this is the direction in which we want to move,” he added.

Keijzer’s remarks made his own party uncomfortable as they cast doubt on the official policy of the government coalition, especially that of his own party colleagues, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge and Justice Ferd Grapperhaus. .

It is not the first time that this Secretary of State has spoken out against the official government policy, as in December 2020, when it considered that some stores should remain open subject to conditions, despite the fact that the Executive had announced a “total confinement” , with the closure of all non-essential activity, for fear of chaos with Christmas shopping.

Keijzer is the third senior official in the Rutte-led coalition to leave this month. On the 16th, the then Foreign Minister, the progressive Sigrid Kaag, resigned after being the subject of a motion of disapproval for the delays in the evacuation operation from Afghanistan, a step taken the next day by her defense colleague, Ank Bijleveld. (CDA).

With the entry into force of the covid pass, thousands of opponents of this measure, and other restrictions such as the closure of the hotel business at midnight, have taken to the streets to protest in different cities of the country, such as in The Hague with posters of ” Enough is enough ”and“ I am a person and not a code (QR) ”, or in Breda, where a mobile disco roamed the streets of the city center.

Daily infections in the Netherlands continue to decline, with 1,625 confirmed positives in the last 24 hours, about 80 less than the previous day, which is 19% less than the average of last week, while hospital occupancy remains the same downward trend, with 470 admitted with covid-19, of which 173 in ICUs.

(c) EFE Agency

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