Party leaders and MPs from across the political spectrum have condemned the way D66 leader and finance minister Sigrid Kaag was met by demonstrators with blazing torches at an election meeting in Overijssel on Sunday.
Prime minister Mark Rutte described the action as ‘unacceptable’. ‘Demonstrating is fine but the intimidation of politicians needs to stop,’ he said on Twitter.
Foreign affairs minister and CDA leader Wopke Hoekstra said the protest was a ‘total scandal’, and that everyone ‘and that means all politicians’ should be able to do their job in safety. And Caroline van der Plas, from pro-farmers party BBB, described the demonstrators as ‘total nitwits’ who should ‘behave normally’.
Kaag was surrounded by people carrying burning torches when she arrived in the Overijssel town of Diepheim for an afternoon debate.
— Lars Geerts (@LarsNos) February 19, 2023
Kaag had come to the town for a provincial election meeting but had to walk the last 150 metres to the hall because the road was blocked by tractors.
Kaag spoke to the demonstrators for several minutes before going into the meeting.
Earlier in the day, a group calling itself Strijders Twente, had called for a ‘warm welcome’ for Kaag, who was aware of the demonstration, broadcaster NOS said.
A week ago, conspiracy theorist Max van der B was sentenced to five months in jail on appeal for threatening the minister in January 2022 by standing outside her home with a burning torch.
Kaag said at the time she felt his actions to be ‘extremely intimidating’.
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