Weekers to be replaced by Amsterdam alderman Wiebes

Amsterdam alderman Eric Wiebes is set to replace state secretary of Finance Frans Weekers, who made the decision to resign last week. 

Sources in The Hague say that the choice, made by the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) leaders, came to Wiebes.

The General intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) must still carry out an investigation into Wiebes's antecedents. If this is clear, then it is expected that Wiebes will be appointed on Tuesday or Wednesday.

While Wiebes (50) does not have a strictly financial background, he must, as successor to Weekers, solve the problems at the Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst).

Wiebes may have stood out as a candidate because he is known as a crisis manager.

He is praised in Amsterdam for the way he handled the problems with the North-South train line. He has worked at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and was a consultant there for many years.

Weekers resigned last week because he lost the trust from the opposition in a debate over the untimely pay-out of benefits. This is what the Tax and Customs Administration is responsible for.

The setting-up of the allowances has been difficult, which has left thousands of people waiting for their money. Weekers found the plenary opposition heavy, and had already prepared a vote of censure.

Weekers (46) has been state secretary since October 2010. Before that, he was an MP for almost 12 years. He is the second state secretary in Rutte's cabinet who has thrown in the towel.

The cabinet had only been effective one month when Co Verdaas (Economic Affairs)(PvdA) resigned. He cheated with claims on traffic expenses in his previous function as member of the Provincial Executive (Gedeputeerde Staten) of the province of Gelderland.