One euro per person: big cities donate to quake relief effort

The next cabinet will have to watch the cents carefully. Photo:
Cities are donating one euro per person. Photo:

All of the big 5 Dutch cities have agreed to donate €1 per head of their populations to the relief effort in Turkey and Syria, apart from The Hague.

The Hague has decided against donating cash to help people affected by Monday’s earthquake because it is not one of the city’s core tasks, a spokeswoman for mayor Jan van Zanen told the AD.

‘We can only spend the money once and it is not our money, it belongs to the people of The Hague,’ she told the paper. ‘It goes without saying that we will support different initiatives in the city if necessary.’

Local parties, Denk and the fundamentalist Christian group ChristenUnie-SGP said the decision not to contribute was incomprehensible, but other parties are less outspoken, the AD said.

Arjen Dubbelaar, from Hart voor Den Haag, the biggest party on the city council, said the executive is being extremely tight with its money. ‘As a resident of the third biggest city in the Netherlands, this is mortifying,’ he said on Twitter. ‘Our city deserves better.’

Rotterdam and Amsterdam are contributing €1.5 million between them and Eindhoven said on Friday it would donate €244,000 to the Giro 555 fund raising campaign, or one euro for each local.

Utrecht too has donated €362,000. ‘My thoughts are with all the people from Utrecht who have lost loved ones or are living in uncertainty about their relatives,’ mayor Sharon Dijksma said.

The city of Deventer, with a population of around 100,000, is also joining the campaign as is Pijnacker-Nootdorp, and other towns and villages.

The Hague has a population of some 553,000 and a large Turkish community.

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