Dutch Covid policy must change, mayors say in call for help
The mayors of about 30 cities asked the Cabinet to fundamentally revise the coronavirus policy in a cry for help. The current policy lacks logic. It puts too much pressure on citizens and local governments, mayors Femke Halsema (Amsterdam) and Paul Depla (Breda) wrote in an opinion piece in the Volkskrant, partly on behalf of their colleagues.
According to the authors, the ad hoc measures taken by the government "is too great a burden on the stamina and trust" in local governance. "It is in fact impossible, but also undesirable under the rule of law to forcefully convince citizens of the correctness of measures with repression. It not only exhausts the enforcement apparatus, but a repressive government comes up against its own citizens. With so many citizens on the verge of drowning, the coronavirus policy must not succumb further to the repressive temptation. Then authority will crumble further."
"We, therefore, urge the Cabinet and parliament to fundamentally review the coronavirus policy," the signatories wrote. "We as mayors often opt by a large majority to enforce the Cabinet measures with the resources we have. We do not want the chaos to get bigger, nor the anger to increase."
Mayors have had to stand against their citizens multiple times in the past weeks, as first the catering sector and then the cultural sector opened against the rules in protest against the coronavirus measures. While many mayors initially said they'd turn a blind eye to this demonstration, the Cabinet was quick to remind them that they are responsible for enforcing the rules and the rules apply to everyone.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times