Dutch ministers appalled by PSV fans taunting Madrid beggars
A number of Dutch ministers expressed their disgust at the behavior of a group of PSV fans in Madrid, Spain. Prime Minister Mark Rutte did so in person to his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy in Brussels, where the two are attending a EU summit on an asylum agreement with Turkey.
On Tuesday the PSV fans caused a commotion in Madrid by throwing change at a group of Romani beggars. They cheered and shouted "ole" as the women scrambled on the ground for the money. A human rights organization demanded that the Spanish prosecutor investigate the matter and prosecute the Dutch football fans for hate crimes. The PSV fans were in the Spanish capital for a match against Altetico Madrid.
Sports Minister Edith Schippers stated that she is deeply ashamed of the PSV supporters, calling their actions "really too disgusting for words". She is pleased that the Spanish Prosecutor is investigating the matter, she said to broadcaster NOS. "This must have repercussions, and if we can help with that, that will be acceptable. They must be held accountable for this."
Schippers is happy that PSV immediately announced their disapproval of the actions. According to her, the Netherlands is given a bad name by incidents like this and Feyenoord supporters rioting in Rome. "No one, I believe, can look at this without shame."
Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs is feeling embarrassed as a Dutchman. "This is so derogatory, it is incomprehensible", he said to the broadcaster. He is pleased that Prime Minister Rutte approached Rajoy at the summit in Brussels. "It is good that he talks about this with the Spanish Prime Minister."
Security and Justice Minister Ard van der Steur called the incident "shocking", but declined to comment further given the ongoing investigation in Spain. "As Minister of Security and Justice, my restraint suits the situation."