Rutte: Difficult not to be together for the second year in a row
Prime Minister Mark Rutte posted a message on social media Friday to reflect on the past year, which was again largely dominated by the coronavirus crisis. A total of 2,337,203 positive coronavirus tests were recorded in the Netherlands this year, with more than half reported just in the past 17 weeks.
"This year has again demanded a great deal from many people and, unfortunately, we are not there yet. It is difficult that for the second year in a row we cannot be together on New Year's Eve as we would like," said Rutte.
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge also posted a message on Twitter. "The virus also held us in its clutches in 2021. Our solidarity, our perseverance, our optimism has also been put to the test in 2021. That year is now behind us," he wrote, and remarked that the coronavirus crisis is not yet in the rear-view mirror.
Nevertheless, both Rutte and De Jonge argued that it is possible to get through the crisis together. "We will get through this by paying attention to each other," says Rutte.
"We will overcome the crisis. That will only work if we give each other hope and perspective, encourage each other, hold on to each other. And continue to see the good, even when it is difficult. Especially when it is difficult," says De Jonge.
Reporting by ANP.