Prime minister is happy he has a busy team, despite their complaints


Reports that some ministers in the current government find their work loads too heavy have been brushed off by prime minister Mark Rutte, who says he is ‘happy to hear’ his team is being kept on its toes.

‘I am happy if I hear that they are busy,’ he told RTL news when questioned about the report. ‘The power of having a small cabinet is that you can make choices. You can focus on key things.’

The current cabinet has 13 ministers and seven junior ministers and is one of the smallest in years. For example, the position of environment minister has been merged with infrastructure, while agriculture has been moved to economic affairs.

Several ministers were quoted in Saturday’s NRC as saying they would like a bigger cabinet because of the pressure of work. In particular, the health, foreign affairs and justice ministries could do with an extra pair of hands, ministers say.

Health minister Edith Schippers told the paper that she has ‘created a parallel universe’ in which she sends pre-recorded video speeches to open one congress which she appears in person at a second.

Junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff said he had passed some of his responsibilities to his minister Ard van der Steur. ‘It should not be taboo to say that you are busy,’ he told the NRC. ‘I could not do all of my work justice.’

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