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Dutch constitution suffers under privatisation

Monday 04 June 2012

Privatisation has weakened the Dutch constitution over the past several decades, the former vice chairman of the council of state told a senate investigation on Monday afternoon.

Tjeenk Willink was speaking at a parliamentary inquiry into the effect of privatising government services in the 1990s, which began in the senate on Monday morning.

The democratic constitution has been weakened by the government distancing itself from its responsibilities, allowing the market to take over services and a decline in know-how in the civil service, news service ANP quotes him as saying.

'The government also sees people increasingly as customers, which pushes joint interests into the background'', Willink told the hearing.

Willink, who left the council of state earlier this year, said he is not against privatisation per se, but against the idea it is automatically better. He has noticed many cases over the years where the most important reason for privatising a service was that it would be cheaper. It later proved not to be in the public interest.

There are many 'unintentional and underestimated consequences' in the policy, he said.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

this is a no brainer, see my other comment about privatization here. of course its damaging - privatizing services is a quick way for conservatives to escape being responsible and win votes from people who do not understand what is really happening.
1 step forward, then 2 maybe even 3 steps backward. Does this make sense to anyone? This is not advancement or progressing in any way folks. This is wasting valuable time.

By Bill | 4 June 2012 3:58 PM

Privisations are ruining everything, beginning with public services, all across Europe. This has to stop.

By Philippe | 4 June 2012 4:56 PM

absolutely the worst service to privatize is health care. the costs of health care in NL are now completely out of control in my opinion, as well as the waste in health care institutions. the private insurers do not even know what they should and do cover in many cases - in short the entire system is a big mess.
Yet the health care was privatized by minister Hoogervorst - from the VVD! Rutte's party. So why would NL voters continue to vote for this party considering where the party is leading NL? This is NOT sustainable, this is short term gain that will have to be reversed. I do not understand.

By Bill | 5 June 2012 7:43 AM

I hope I live to see the day when the people start buying back there assets

By Phil | 5 June 2012 8:44 AM

In a country where a serial killer has walked free after 11 years in jail, a member of the ruling class complains about "the government distancing itself from its responsibilities"? that is nothing short of obscene.

By Snorri Godhi | 5 June 2012 11:01 PM

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