Foreign minister urged to talk less

Foreign minister Maxime Verhagen has been asked to stop talking so much in parliament because he takes so long to get to the point that MPs sometimes run out of debating time, the Telegraaf reports on Friday.

During this week’s debate on human rights, for example, Verhagen took 20 minutes to explain why he had drawn up a memorandum, leaving no time to answer questions.
The Volkskrant reports on a meeting of the foreign affairs committee in which MPs stared at the ceiling and sent text messages reading ‘it will be late tonight’ as Verhagen spoke.
Socialist MP Harry van Bommel suggests Verhagen ‘makes a film or writes a book’. And Liberal MP Hans van Baalen calls for a more active chairman. ‘If the minister does not understand that he should be concise and to-the-point, the meeting chairman should get tough,’ he says.
Van Baalen chairs the defence committee and times all speeches with a stop watch.

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