Groningen protesters sing anthem to stop MP gas debate

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Groningen citizens sang their provincial national anthem in protest against gas extraction in their region during Thursday's Tweede Kamer (Lower House) parliamentary debate on the issue on Thursday.

The group arrived at The Hague by bus and protested outside the parliamentary building before moving to the public gallery of the plenary hall of the House to sing their song. The debate was paused for a short time before continuing. It was focused on limiting gas extraction from under Groningen, due to the increased frequency of earthquakes there since the process began, and the heightened risk of more severe earthquakes in the future. It followed an announcement that measures would be implemented in Groningen to increase safety to citizens from Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp on Monday. The measures included a temporary reduction in gas extraction, a National Coordinator, simplified damage claims process and broader compensation possibilities. Kamp had previously stated that he had no plans to make permanent the cuts to the amount of gas extracted. The opposition is pushing to further reduce gas extraction, arguing that the Netherlands should not produce more gas than it needs to provide utilities to its citizens, reported. At the same time, the coalition partner PvdA has said they want to make the gas reductions for the first half of the year a reality also in the second half of the year.


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