Friday 02 December 2022


Sidelines would like to apologise for the fact that this is the third golden handshake-related column this week but this little farce is set to run and run.

First of all social affairs minister Piet Hein Donner announces that redundancy law would be on the agenda at next weeks talks between ministers, unions and employers.
Then some bright spark starts leaking details of a cabinet agreement to the press. So many papers have the same story that it everyone assumes the deal has been done. Donner stays quiet.
Employers, having got what they wanted, are delighted. The unions are puzzled, and say there is no way that redundancy laws are up for discussion.
MPs, furious at having to find out about the deal in the media, demand Donner explain. And what does he answer? That he knows nothing about a cabinet agreement but that there is a cabinet ‘contribution’ – whatever that is.
He then refuses to go into details, arguing that by law he is not allowed to talk about what went on during cabinet meetings. How very convenient.
Donner has either been extremely clever by getting everyone to agree to meet and then leaking like mad to the press, or he has no control over his civil servants.
On second thoughts, the whole affair is not a farce, its a tragedy. What will he do for an encore?

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