Dutch Minister criticized over "promotional video"

A video Minister Sander Dekker for Legal Protection posted on Twitter after a working visit to insurer Achmea caused some angry reactions, especially from lawyers. They called it an "promotional video", "shameless", and "unworthy of a Minister", RTL Nieuws reports.

The VVD Minister recently paid a working visit to Achmea's legal aid department. Afterwards he posted a video about his visit, in which Achmea employees talk about how they prevent high-level legal conflicts. "How do we avoid unnecessary legal processes? No one is waiting for complicated lawsuits, if it can be done quickly and easily" Dekker wrote with the video. "Meaningful and educational."

The video prompted criticism on social media and among the legal community. "Shameless that you advertise Achmea in this way. Is the Minister applying for a job or something?" Kasper Regter, a social attorney in Limburg, said to RTL Nieuws. He also called it strange that the Minister mentions that citizens sometimes need lawyers to solve problems with benefits agency UWV. "The government is one of the biggest causes of litigation. Furthermore, the criminal cases that Dekker mentions are not covered by most insurance companies. So it is also partly incorrect."

Amsterdam lawyer Babur Beg called the video "unworthy of a minister", according to the broadcaster. "In this video, something is wrong in many areas. Why does the minister advertise one provider? There are multiple insurance companies." Beg adds that the insurance Dekker is talking about "is partly not offered at all". 

A spokesperson for Dekker said in reaction: "We like to show what visits we make and what we do in the context of the reform of the legal aid system. The visit to Achmea was part of this."

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