MPs praise Dutch PM's Covid-19 speech

Prime Minister Mark Rutte could count on praise from both opposition and coalition parties for his address to the nation on Monday. In his speech, the Prime Minister warned that coronavirus Covid-19 will be in the Netherlands for some time, and called on Netherlands residents to face this difficult time together.

PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher called Rutte's speech a "fair and difficult message" on Twitter. GroenLinks leader Jesse Klaver said he admired the "honest and penetrating message". SP leader Lilian Marijnissen spoke of an "impressive and penetrating speech".

PvdD leader Esther Ouwehand tweeted that Rutte's speech was "a nice call to all of us". DENK was pleased with Rutte's proper explanation of the possible scenarios and the one being followed. Henk Krol of 50Plus tweeted: "Impressive speech by a visibly tired Prime Minister Rutte."

Coalition party D66 leader Rob Jetten told NOS that Rutte's message does justice to the seriousness of the situation. "This is not a time for division. This is a time for cooperation." CDA chairman Pieter Heerma said: "Great appreciation for the Prime Minister. Together we are facing an enormous task." 

The parties on the far-right of the political spectrum were less impressed. Both PVV and FvD called for the Netherlands to be locked down. "But we're both fighting to stem this crisis," PVV leader Geert Wilders added on Twitter. FvD leader Thiery Baudet said: "Hoping for group immunity is an exceptionally risky strategy. France is locked down on expert advice. The Netherlands is not. Why? FvD remains concerned about health risks of the Dutch and pressure on the care system. We advocate the approach chosen around us, including border controls."

The full text of Rutte's speech, translated to English, can be read here