The prime minister’s former spin doctor, Jack de Vries, is tipped as the new junior defence secretary by most of the Dutch media today.
De Vries (39) was Jan Peter Balkenende’s political assistant from 2002 to 2005 before taking over as the Christian Democrats’ campaign leader in advance of the general election.
According to Wednesday’s Volkskrant, it is thanks to De Vries that Balkenende came back as prime minister this year ‘despite all the crises’.
De Vries is given the credit for creating Balkenende’s image as a ‘trustworthy hard worker’ and is admired ‘by friend and foe’ for his political antennae, the paper says.
The cabinet is expected to announce the successor to Cees van der Knaap – who is leaving to become mayor of Ede – on Friday reports the Volkskrant.
The paper says a number of other names are also doing the rounds in The Hague, including that of former Christian Democrat MP Hans Hillen.
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