Following a debate in the Dutch House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) on Wednesday September 2nd, Dutch Justice Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus will keep his job after photos of his wedding sparked a scandal.
Grapperhaus’ violation of the rules
Grapperhaus celebrated his wedding with family and friends in Bloemendaal on Saturday, August 22nd. As Minister of Justice and Security, he has repeatedly stressed the importance of adhering to coronavirus measures and guidelines during the ongoing crisis.
It is therefore not surprising that he received significant criticism when photos of himself and his guests surfaced on August 27 that did not adhere to the 1.5 meter distance rule.
The photos show the wedding celebration on the steps of his wedding venue, the town hall of Bloemendaal, regardless of social distancing rules.
When the photos surfaced, Grapperhaus regretted that the rules, which he himself had preached so regularly himself, had not been followed, and said he understood the criticism from the public and the political opposition.
More photos of the wedding are taken
Unfortunately for Grapperhaus the scandal had only just begun. On September 1, further photos appeared in which he himself did not comply with the known coronavirus rules. In these damn pictures, Grapperhaus was seen shaking hands with one of his guests and hugging his mother-in-law.
Dutch political commentator Frits Wester told RTLnieuws that these new photos had robbed Grapperhaus of any authority he had left and that he had only one thing left and that he had resigned: “The man has spoken to us with big words spoken we really have to obey the rules. Now that he doesn’t do this himself, he can no longer hold others accountable. “
Members of the political opposition also expressed frustration with Grapperhaus and his actions. Lilian Marijhaben, leader of the Socialist Party, said: “It would be good if Grapperhaus justified himself in detail because he puts Boas and agents in a very difficult position.” and undermines support for his own policies. “
Debate in Dutch parliament Grapperhaus’ damaged credibility
The Dutch government announced that parliament would discuss the coronavirus measures and the actions of Grapperhaus at his wedding on September 2nd. At this point, the outrage among politicians increased and many demanded the resignation of Grapperhaus.
However, the outcome of the debate was a little more optimistic. Neither the vote of no confidence cast by the Forum for Democracy nor the Labor Party’s motion of censure received a majority support in the House of Representatives.
Almost all parties agreed that Grapperhaus’s actions had compromised his credibility, but most wanted to give him the opportunity to repair the damage. Prime Minister Rutte also defended the Justice Minister, confident in his ability to repair the damage to his reputation: “Authority is in more factors, it is in person too. I am impressed by the authority with which the minister does his job. “
Speaking in parliament on Wednesday night, an emotional grapper house regretted his actions, saying that in the run-up to the wedding, he had done everything possible to make sure the event complied with coronavirus rules but that he convinced himself got carried away on the big night: “I misjudged it. I misjudged myself. It didn’t go well. “
The consequences of the wedding scandal
The actions of Grapperhaus had nationwide consequences. On August 31, the chairman of the Community Service Officers (BOAs) union stated that as a result of the events of Grapperhaus’ wedding, Boas have been fined fewer fines for violating coronavirus rules.
In his speech to Parliament on Wednesday, Grapperhaus also admitted how his actions had made the boas jobs incredibly difficult and vowed to look into changing the current procedure so that anyone who fines what is known as a coronavirus fine will not be in it has entered his criminal record.
Grapperhaus stressed that he did not want his actions to undermine the danger of the virus or the importance of government action: “I want to show people that politics is really important to spread this dangerous virus.”
Thumb: Yordan Simeonov via Wikimedia.