Thursday, 11 September 2014 - 13:30
Justice minister cuts secret ties with Russian's gig
Minister Opstelten of Security and Justice was until yesterday in the Committee of recommendation of the Gergjev Festival. In this he supported a dear comrade of Russian President Putin. The Gergjev Festival is the Rotterdam music event around the controversial Russian conductor Valeri Gergjev. Gergjev is a personal friend of Putin and is openly excited about Putin's much criticized policies. As mayor of Rotterdam Opstelten bacame a member of the committee because the event is held annually in the port city. Yesterday, after De Telegraaf brought this to the ministry's attention, the minister resigned his membership. He also ordered the removal of his name from the festival site. A spokesperson says that this was a mistake, De Telgraaf reports. Minister Opstelten thought that he had resigned all his functions when he became minister, but this one was overlooked. The VVD minister informed the Prime Minister about this matter yesterday. When Gergjev preforms in the western world, he is usually met by protesters. The world renowned musician caused hard feelings by defending, among other things, Putin's law against gay propaganda. According to him it is only intended to fight pedophilia. He is also an open supporter of the Russian policy on the Ukraine. The CDA is shocked that a Dutch Minister indirectly supported one of Putin's vassals in this way, De Telegraaf reports. Parliament member Omtzigt emphasizes that a Minister should be independent and should avoid any appearance of conflict of interest.