Stef Blok takes over as Minister of Security and Justice
Stef Blok will be Minister of Security and Justice until the elections on March 15th, the VVD confirmed on Friday morning Financieele Dagblad reports. Blok is taking over from fellow VVD member Ard van der Steur, who announced his resignation on Thursday after being accused of withholding information from parliament.
Rumors that Blok will be taking over the Justice Ministry started soon after Van der Steur's resignation on Thursday, but the VVD refused to confirm it until Friday morning. Blok is also Minister of Housing. He will be responsible for both Ministries until the elections.
The Ministry of Security and Justice is not strange territory for Blok. He also filled in as Minister there after minister Ivo Opstelten and state secretary Fred Teeven resigned in 2015. Blok also stood in as interim Minister of Home Affairs in the summer of 2016 when Minister Ronald Plasterk was ill.
Ard van der Steur, Ivo Opstelten and Fred Teeven all resigned due to their role in a controversial deal Teeven made with suspected drug trafficker Cees H. in 2000. The deal involved H. getting back 4.7 million guilders in his seized bank accounts, in exchange for paying a fine of 750 thousand guilders. There was confusion about the deal for years, as Opstelten always claimed that the drug trafficker only received 1.25 million guilders.