Let's get along now that Covid rules are phasing out, Dutch PM says
Prime Minister Mark Rutte called on Netherlands residents to get along again now that the coronavirus measures are being phased out. "My call is now, to myself and to all people: let's visit each other again. Listen to each other. Stand by each other," he said in an interview with the AD.
He came with this call in response to the polarization in society due to the debate around the coronavirus and its accompanying measures. "As if it is no longer possible to talk about a QR code, a booster shot, or a vaccine, without it leading to violent conflicts. The Netherlands has always discussed vigorously. We have n hierarchy. We are direct. But the undertone was always with self-mockery, listening carefully to the other."
He acknowledged that the coronavirus had a significant impact on the country and personally affected many people. In the form of deaths, companies that got into trouble, or children struggling with their mental health. "And in the end, it affected everyone, less or more. I can't solve that, but I can only hope and urge that we rediscover our national character: discuss, but also be kind to each other. We are a nice country. Make sure your family becomes a bit nice again," Rutte told AD.
The Prime Minister does not think that his message conflicts with the fact that he was the messenger of the coronavirus measures for two years. "I chose politics. When a monster presents itself, you have to look it in the eye. That monster is the pandemic. And it could only be combated with severe measures. And now I say, also to myself, and to my 17 million compatriots: a lot has happened, but we have to find each other again a little bit." Rutte stressed the necessity of the measures. "I had no choice. And I think the vast majority of people get that."
Reporting by ANP.