Mayors plead for more financial support for hospitality industry
Mayors from various cities across the Netherlands argue for more financial support for the hospitality industry. They said this before a Security Council meeting on Monday in which mayors from 25 regions participated.
Earlier that day, a few hundred hospitality business owners gathered in The Hague to protest for more financial support from the government. Restaurants, bars, hotels, etc., have been ordered to keep their doors closed since mid-October as a measure to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Emile Roemer, the Mayor of Alkmaar, was “charmed by this way of drawing attention.” He acknowledges that catering businesses are having a hard time because of the mandatory closure. Wouter Kolff, the Mayor of Dordrecht, along with his Rotterdam counterpart, Ahmed Aboutaleb, pleaded for extra financial support. “I am glad that the cabinet is considering this. That’s where the money has to come from,” says Kolff.
Mayor of Hilversum, Pieter Broertjes, calls the measures “a real drama.” “By now, they have been closed for long enough. But the hospitality industry may only open if they are allowed to remain that way. Not that they’ll have to close their doors again in a while.”
The mayors have announced that they are very concerned about the increasing number of infections. “It’s sad with the numbers. Nothing seems to help,” says Broertjes. Roemer, too, calls the figures “sad.” “It’s going in the wrong direction.” Aboutaleb indicated that he would have liked to offer the people of Rotterdam a bit more freedom at Christmas. “But I don’t think this will work,” he added.
On Tuesday, the cabinet will decide whether the measures may be somewhat relaxed by Christmas. Minister of Safety Fred Grapperhaus and Minister of Public Health Hugo de Jonge did not indicate anything on Monday evening. “But the figures aren’t looking good,” warns De Jonge.