EU Told Dutch Govt to Double Down on Forced Farm Closures to Gain ‘More Flexibility’ on Green Regulations

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 20: Tractors belonging to Dutch farmers are parked with
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The European Union has been accused of “meddling” in domestic Dutch politics after it was revealed that an unelected Eurocrat advised the Rutte government to push forward with plans to enact forced buyouts of farmers in exchange for more “flexibility” from the bloc on regulations.

Diederik Samsom, the former head of the left-wing Dutch Labor Party, who now serves as the unelected head of cabinet for First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, has been revealed to have told the pro-EU globalist government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte in November that it should proceed with plans to buy out farmers despite the populist revolt beginning last summer with mass tractor protests and culminated in the pro-farmer BBB becoming the nation’s largest party in last week’s elections.

The faces of Prime Minister Mark Rutte, right, and then-Labor Party Leader Diederik Samsom, left, are seen through plexiglas lecterns during a joint press conference in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday Oct. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

According to a report from Dutch broadcaster NOS, Samsom, in a conversation with the government in November, said that The Netherlands had driven into the ditch and that less invasive state action would not be enough to avert the European Commission imposing penalties for nitrogen emissions, such as banning construction of new buildings in some areas or preventing nearly all new roads from being built in the country.

Samson went on to reportedly say that should the government impose the mandatory buyout of farmers, the Commission would be less strict in how it deals with the Netherlands on other issues surrounding the policy, saying that the Dutch government should “deliver first”.

Typically, the broadcaster noted, the Commission does not dictate how exactly a local government meets its green goals as long as the result is the same, leading to accusations that Samsom “meddled” in the internal affairs by advising the government in such a way.

The leader of the Farmer-Citizen Movement party (BBB), Caroline van der Plas wrote on social media that she has written to the government to clarify the “strange meddling” of Samson, whom she noted “is not even an elected representative.”

Populist Party for Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders went further, saying that Samsom “wants to completely tear down the Netherlands from the Brussels back rooms,” adding: “How I long for a Nexit,” in reference to the concept of the Netherlands leaving the EU like the United Kingdom with Brexit.

The policy of forcing farmers to sell their lands with government-backed compulsory purchase orders and the plans to cut nitrogen emissions on farms between 50 and 95 per cent sparked nationwide protests, with farmers using their tractors to block highways and other critical infrastructure. While the government said that buyouts would be a measure of last resort, in November it revealed plans to buy out between two and three thousand farms as soon as next month and by force if required.

The Farmer-Citizen Movement, which after last week’s provincial elections now hold the most seats (17) in the Dutch senate, has long questioned whether the Rutte government was exaggerating the intransigence from the EU on the issue in order to push through the limits on nitrogen fertilisers.

Following her first one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Rutte on Tuesday, Van der Plas said that she would next seek to meet with EU Commissioner Frans Timmermans, the bloc’s top man on climate issues and the boss of Diederik Samsom. Timmermans said that he is willing to meet with the pro-farmer populist to discuss the political crisis, saying that he would be happy to “explain the European rules to the BBB leader”.

He went on to say, contrary to the apparent intervention from his deputy, that The Netherlands must choose for itself whether to impose mandatory farm buyouts, saying “that is not up to us”.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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