Conflict over diplomat’s New York rent ends

Former aid minister Eveline Herfkens is to spend one year working for the UN’s millennium campaign for the token sum of $1 to end the conflict over government help she received while working for the world body.

Foreign minister Maxime Verhagen had demanded the repayment of €190,000 paid by his ministry towards the rent on her apartment in New York between 2002 and 2006. The payments broke UN rules.
An internal UN investigation into the affair found that Herfkens, the Dutch government and the UN itself were all to blame for the situation.
Verhagen told the Volkskrant on Friday that he had taken legal advice and a court case would be unwinnable. ´In a legal sense, she did not do anything wrong,´ he told the paper.
Opposition MPs said the agreement that Herfkens work for one year for no pay did not go far enough.
Liberal MP Arend Jan Boekestijn said it was scandalous that she would get away with a €140,000 overpayment after her salary was deducted. ´The man in the street who gets too much subsidy has to pay back every cent with interest,´ he told the paper.

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