Rutte: ‘In a flying start after the corona crisis, Brabant leads the way’

The party leaders of the seven largest parties entered into a debate in Den Bosch on Saturday evening. What can the Brabant voter expect from these parties in the next four years? In the Debate of the South, we asked the party leaders about their plans for Brabant. Read everything in our live blog below.


Party leaders Mark Rutte (VVD), Geert Wilders (PVV), Wopke Hoekstra (CDA), Sigrid Kaag (D66), Jesse Klaver (GroenLinks), Lilian Marijnissen (SP) and Lilianne Ploumen (PvdA) debate on the basis of statements about the environment, housing and the economy. Together with the party leaders, we will also discuss the results of a representative survey among Brabant residents, which shows, among other things, that half of the respondents do not feel heard by ‘The Hague’.

Debate round 1: livestock

The livestock in Brabant must be halved. That was the tantalizing first thesis of the Debate of the South on Saturday evening. CDA party leader Wopke Hoekstra and Jesse Klaver of GroenLinks gave the starting signal for the debate, which was immediately held on the cutting edge. The Brabant livestock and the related problems (nitrogen, manure, air and soil pollution) are therefore a hot issue in the province.

If it were up to CDA, the traditional ‘peasant party’, halving the number of animals is out of the question. According to Hoekstra, ‘there must be twice as much focus on innovation’. “Health always comes first, but we have to stand next to the farmer.” Lilianne Ploumen immediately interrupted: “The CDA allows itself to be held hostage by threatening farmers”, said the PvdA party leader. “What you want is not possible. You have to make choices, a choice for the health of Brabant.”

GroenLinks, D66 and SP think more or less the same about it. “Parties that are not in favor of a significant reduction in the number of animals, are taking a great risk with public health,” said Klaver. “But not only that: economic progress will also be blocked. In order to build, nitrogen emissions will be reduced. should be reduced. “

VVD, like CDA, opts for further innovation. PVV went even further in support for farmers. “The farmers deserve a big compliment”, says Geert Wilders. “Halving is just really stupid. With the new nitrogen law, we are taking the farmers to prison. ”

Debate round 2: housing shortage

It is far too easy for PVV leader Wilders to blame migrants for the housing shortage in Brabant, says Sigrid Kaag (D66). “123 nationalities contribute to the Brabant economy. At AMSL, on land, in construction. Let’s treat those people with respect. ”

Wilders thinks differently about this, he cannot accept that 100,000 social rental homes have been occupied by migrants with a residence permit. “We have to keep the houses for our own people.” The PVV leader then attacked Kaag’s party on the housing shortage. “D66 supplied the minister who is responsible for housing for four years. The result: one big zero. ”

The seven party leaders agree on one thing: more needs to be built. No less than a million homes in the next ten years. That will be quite a challenge, said Mark Rutte. In the calculations of the programs, none of the parties comes to a million homes, the VVD leader said. His mission: “Build a lot, under national direction.” Rutte cited Eindhoven as an example, where agreements have been made for the construction of 62,000 homes.

“We not only have to build a lot, but also have to be affordable”, says Lilian Marijnissen, SP. “If we leave that to the VVD, we will know what will happen: then investors are in charge and the big money comes first.

Debate round 3: Economy

Brabant’s economy deserves an exceptional position, according to the third thesis in the Debate of the South. The seven party leaders then fell over each other in their praise for the business community in the south, especially Brainport. “Brabant has had the exceptional position for a long time”, said Mark Rutte. “In the flying start after the corona crisis, Brabant leads the way”, said the VVD leader.

Lilian Marijnissen (SP) addressed the VVD about the plans to build new nuclear power plants. “Does the vote for VVD mean that people from Brabant can also get a nuclear power station in the backyard? Be honest about that. ” Rutte, who previously misguided himself with the suggestion that Groningen would be a great place for a new power station, was not tempted. “If there is no support, we will not do it. Just like with windmills and sun meadows. ”

Jesse Klaver (GroenLinks) accuses the VVD that the party wants to cut back on sustainability subsidies. “Bavaria would like to get started with geothermal energy, but that is only possible with the subsidies.”

Sigrid Kaag (D66) was the last to join the collective hymn to the Brabant economy. “We will continue to invest in Brabant’s economy. We cannot be stingy with Brabant, because then we are a thief of our own wallets. ”

Whether VVD leader Mark Rutte is satisfied with a 5.3; the report mark that people from Brabant give when asked whether they feel heard by The Hague. No, it turns out. “Not a good mark,” he concludes.

Lilian Marijnissen thinks that people from Brabant are still quite mild and points to the benefits affair. “Lives have been destroyed. Houses, jobs, cars and even children have been taken away. The Hague politics no longer listens to the people, otherwise you would have seen this much earlier ”, she snaps at Rutte. He can’t help but agree, given the role her party played in uncovering the affair. Marijnissen: ,, Those compliments, that’s not our point. We are about people who have been ground up structurally and for years. ”

The score of 5.3 emerged from research by Newcom. It also showed that almost half of the people of Brabant think it is ridiculous that parties exclude the PVV from a cabinet in advance. A bacon to the face of PVV leader Wilders. “Half of the people from Brabant are absolutely right, of course. If you really believe in democracy, you take the voter seriously ”, says Wilders. His plea and the Brabant judgment do not change the six party leaders next to him. When asked who excludes Wilders, all hands are still up

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