Tuesday 09 August 2022

Dutch PM is a global hit, for cleaning up the mess he made

Photo: Still NOS video

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte has gone viral with a video showing him cleaning up a cup of coffee which he spilled while entering a government ministry.

The footage, recorded by broadcaster NOS, shows the prime minister taking a mop from a cleaner, wiping up the mess and cleaning splashes off the security gate, to the cheers of the cleaning staff.

The reactions around the world have ranged from disbelief that a prime minister would pick up a mop, to applause.

The Washington Post said Rutte had become a ‘symbol of etiquette‘. Pakistan journalist Hamid Mir said he is ‘impressed by his humbleness’. That is why he is very popular in Dutch people, Mir said on Twitter. Others said Rutte had shown ‘true democracy, true leadership’.

Closer to home, Emilie van Outeren, the NRC’s political correspondent in The Hague, notes that while the prime minister may have been being opportunistic, it is the reaction of the cleaners which is most surprising.

‘In which other country is there so little hierarchy that the cleaners would dare to react in such a way?’, she said on Twitter.

The BBC, which placed the video online, said in coverage that politicians are often accused of making messes they don’t clear up. ‘But Dutch politician Mark Rutte decided to clean up parliament himself,’ the BBC added.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.