Pro animal MP shoots down Dijkhoff’s ‘test balloon’ stunt

Photo: EU2016 NL via Wikimedia Commons

Animal protection party Partij voor de Dieren is filing a police complaint on Tuesday against VVD parliamentary party chairman Klaas Dijkhoff for polluting the environment, the party has confirmed.

Dijkhoff released 500 balloons during the VVD party conference as a reference to his many proefballonnen or ‘test balloons’ – the Dutch way of describing testing public opinion to a controversial idea.

Dijkhoff has recently suggested giving tougher sentences to people from problem neighbourhoods, a ban on demonstrations during the Sinterklaas festivities and investment in nuclear power.

PvdD MP Christine Teunissen says Dijkstra’s party conference stunt constitutes an economic crime. ‘It’s a matter of principle and the public prosecutor should think so too,’ she told the AD.

Dijkhoff called the move ‘a waste of police time and paper’ and accused the PvdD of being ‘whiners who want everybody to live like them’.

Some one million balloons are release into the environment each year, according to Stichting the Noordzee which monitors coastal plastic waste.

Birds, whales, tortoises and dolphins mistake the balloons for food and die from asphyxiation or stomach ailments. The rest of the balloons end up as part of the ‘plastic soup’, the organisation says.

In 2013, the PvvD successfully lobbied against the release of 150,000 balloons at the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander in Amsterdam. has been free for 12 years, but now we are asking our readers to help. Your donation will enable us to keep providing you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch.
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