Friday, May 22, 2015 - 18:06
Univ. Amsterdam protest damage may top €500,000
Six weeks after the end of the Maagdenhuis occupation, the extent of damage to the University of Amsterdam is still not clear. UvA estimates the harm caused at half a million euros, but the damage evaluation is still in progress. Minister of Education Jet Bussemaker from the Labor party said on Thursday UvA was still considering whether the damage can be associated with the occupation by protesters angry at the lack of democracy at the university, and the cuts to the faculty of humanities. She said that the final decision on how to finance the repairs was a prerogative of the university. This statement caused significant criticism from other political parties. Michel Rog from CDA pointed out that the court ruled on two occasions that the building should be vacated. "The minister is looking away, and that is not a careful way of dealing with taxpayers' money," Rog said. VVD MP Pieter Duisenberg blamed Bussemaker for taking a very formal approach. He suggested the minister should encourage UvA to recover the costs from the occupants. VVD, CDA and PVV proposed a motion that Bussemaker should negotiate with UvA the possibilities of claiming the maximum share of damages possible from the occupiers. The parliament will vote on the motion on Tuesday.