Lodewijk Asscher (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons) - Credit: Lodewijk Asscher (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)
Deputy PM: Groningen earthquake-proofing must create jobs
Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs and Employment believes a large earthquake-proofing operation to homes and buildings in Groningen can create thousands of new jobs in the area. On Monday he visited the earthquake stricken area and signed an intention declaration stating that all parties used in the strengthening operations will be Groningen residents, ANP reports. "An awful lot has to be done here and it would be bad if it is eventually done by migrant workers, as was the case before in Eemshaven", Asscher, also Deputy Prime Minister, said. According to him, there are many "rules" to take into account, but by working together it can be ensured that as much work as possible end up with the province. "If you only look at the 65 new schools to be built here, then it can for Groningen eventually mean over a long period thousands of jobs and an economic boost of hundreds of millions", Asscher said. "If all parties work as hard as possible, we take at least one positive thing out of all the misery." Other parties that signed the agreement include the province, municipalities, oil and gas company NAM, the Center Safe Housing, the National Coordinator Groningen and education in the region. In recent years Groningen suffered under a large number of earthquakes caused by NAM gas extraction.Recently Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs further reduced the annual amount of natural gas that can be extracted in the province. NAM can now only extract 24 billion cubic meters of gas from Groningen per year.