Rutte: wrong estimate made during the holiday king

Prime Minister Rutte says that he made a wrong assessment of the holiday of King Willem-Alexander. In a letter to Parliament he writes that he was aware of the king’s vacation to Greece. But he says he has “realized too late” that the holiday could not be reconciled with the recent tightening of the corona measures. “This should have prompted me to reconsider the intended holiday,” said the prime minister.

Rutte emphasizes that as prime minister he is responsible for the king. For private trips abroad, the prime minister must assess whether “the public interest is being respected”. According to Rutte, he realized too late that this was no longer the case after Tuesday’s press conference about the tightened corona measures.

Press conference

In his letter, Rutte also discusses the press conference that Deputy Prime Minister De Jonge held on Friday after the Council of Ministers. De Jonge got a question there about the king’s holiday, to which he replied that he was not aware of it. Rutte writes that he had not informed De Jonge, “in accordance with the usual method for this subject”, about the king’s Greece trip.

While preparing for the press conference, the possible holiday as a result of a tweet was discussed briefly, according to Rutte, but that did not provide any clarity. “This tweet led to inquiries and further deliberation that the press conference had not been clarified, so it was not clear at the time whether the king was going on vacation or not.”

As a result, De Jonge was unable to say anything about the king’s holiday on Friday:

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