Former transport minister Camiel Eurlings is to join airline KLM as head of its freight operations in a newly revamped board.
There have been rumours that Eurlings was set to join an airline since he announced he was leaving politics prior to the June general election. At the time, Eurlings said he wanted to start a family. He had been tipped as a possible new party leader to succeed Jan Peter Balkenende.
While a minister, Eurlings emerged as a strong defender of the airline sector and dropped a new tax on air travel within a year of its introduction after strong lobbying by airlines.
Conflict of interest
Liesbeth van Tongeren, an MP for the left-wing green party GroenLinks, told the AD the appointment had all the hallmarks of a conflict of interest. She called for the government to set up a commission to look at the ethical issues attached to former ministers and private sector jobs.
There are no rules preventing Dutch ministers joining the private sector in areas where they were active while in the cabinet.
Former prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende is to become a partner with accountants group Ernst & Young, and will work with clients who are ‘active at the interface between the public and private sectors’.
Former deputy prime minister and Labour leader Wouter Bos is now a partner with KPMG and heads the consultancy group’s public sector and health service division.
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