Dutch Government Secretary Fired For Criticizing Corona Pass


netherlands worthy ministries

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Fresh questions have been raised about the perceived crackdown on freedoms in the after Mona Keijzer was sacked as state secretary of economic affairs in the Dutch government for criticizing the corona admission pass.

On Monday, her Democratic Appeal (CDA) party announced that she would not return to national politics and give up her seat in Parliament. The developments followed a daring interview in which Keijzer questioned the pass as it involves mandatory proof of vaccination or a negative test when entering public venues.

She commented in an interview with Dutch daily De Telegraaf (The Telegraph) on Saturday, the day the pass was introduced.

“It is clear to me that it becomes increasingly difficult to explain why you have to show a proof of vaccination in one place, but not the other,” she said.

Keijzer spoke while, for instance, bars, restaurants, theaters, and festivals were forced to require the corona admission pass or proof that someone was cured of .

Previously festivals were forbidden, while the massive Dutch Grand Prix Formula One motor racing event, backed by well-connected Dutch Prince Bernhard, could go ahead.

PEOPLE AFRAID

“Which makes me think: are we just going to stick to this course, or are we going to organize ourselves properly,” she wondered. “If you have ended up in a society where you have to be afraid of each other unless you can show proof, then you have to scratch your head and ask yourself: ‘do we want to go this way?’”

Keijzer said she did not want to “detract” from the cabinet decision to make the corona pass mandatory, but she also questioned it. “I can no longer explain it logically.”

The policy came as most social-distancing measures were lifted but passed by a narrow margin in parliament. Her comments made clear the government itself wasn’t in complete accord and came amid attended by thousands of people.

In a statement, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he, with the agreement of senior team members, decided that Keijzer should be dismissed “with immediate effect.”

He claimed Dutch cabinet members are bound to speak with one voice and to express their concerns only within the ministerial council. Keijzer’s comments were in “direct conflict with decisions made only recently in the council.”

Not everyone agrees, saying her comments reflected a broader debate in society for which there should be room in political discussions.

“IMPORTANT SERVICES”

Keijzer reportedly opposed her dismissal but was forced to face King Willem-Alexander as part of the dismissal procedure.

He granted the dismissal “in the most honorable way” and “with thanksgiving for the many and important services” that Keijzer rendered to the Netherlands, according to the King’s statement.

Her dismissal comes after the resignation of two other cabinet members, Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag and Defense Minister Ank Bijleveldt resigned last week over the handling of the chaotic evacuation of at-risk Afghans and the Dutch embassy in Kabul, .

The dismissal of a Dutch cabinet member was the first in decades. The last person to experience this was State Secretary of Justice Jan Glastra van Loon of the left-leaning liberal D66 party in 1975.

Then Minister of Justice Dries van Agt of the Christian Democrats (CDA) wanted to get rid of him because the state secretary had spoken about their conflict at a press conference.

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