Rotterdam councilors furious about Jeff’s Hef: ‘Dickpic in ship shape’ | Inland

Bezos has ordered a boat from a builder in Alblasserdam, for the amount of more than four hundred million euros. With that, the billionaire has bought the second largest sailboat in the world.

Only the way must be cleared for the ship to be taken to sea. And that goes via the Hef, the old bridge in Rotterdam that is out of use. The national monument may be dismantled twice a year before by removing the middle part, said deputy mayor Vincent Karremans yesterday during a current affairs debate about ‘Jeff’s Hef’.


GroenLinks councilor Stefan Leewis was white-hot about the news, which he believes reinforces the idea that there are two kinds of rules. “The one for the super rich and the one for the rest.” He wondered why it should be desirable that the municipality “gives the idea that everything is for sale”.

By participating in this operation, the college of mayor and aldermen relegated the city to ‘a dick pic in ship shape’. He is supported by the PvdA. Councilor Steven Lammering was curious whether they would put the Arc de Triomph aside in Paris for a while.

But the college of mayor and aldermen follows an existing framework set up by two aldermen from the previous council.

After renovation of the Hef, shipbuilders already asked in 2017 whether the bridge could be temporarily disassembled to allow a mega yacht to pass. The then aldermen Adriaan Visser and Maarten Struijvenberg developed a framework for this.

“The financing will lie with the applicant, it has been determined that it can be done without any risks for the bridge,” said deputy mayor Vincent Karremans.

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No alternatives

If the permit is applied for, it will be assessed ‘on its merits’. In general, the municipality wants to cooperate because of business interests. “We are the maritime capital of Europe for a reason. Shipbuilding provides 17,000 jobs.”

There are also no alternatives. That is why it is allowed ‘a maximum of twice a year under very strict conditions’. “The only alternative is via the Oude Maas, but then the railway bridge has to be completely disassembled. But intercity trains run over there again.”

The environmental permit for Bezos’ boat has not yet been submitted, the municipality is still in consultation with the shipbuilder. If all the conditions are met, the permit can be applied for.

As soon as there is an agreement in principle between builder and city, it will be presented to the city council. Karremans argued that because an application had not previously been granted, the framework had not yet been shared with the council.

Last year it almost came to that. A builder had an order for an offshore vessel that could not pass the Hef either. In the end, the order fell through. The boat was named ‘Amazon’.

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