Former D66 leader Alexander Pechtold has been signed up to manage the renovations of the Dutch parliamentary complex in The Hague, due to his ‘knowledge and expertise’.
The planned update of the Binnenhof, in particular the overhaul of the lower house of parliament offices, has led to a conflict between MPs, and the minister in charge together with state property service RVB.
In particular, MPs are not happy with the design plan for their chamber and say the work should be limited to a maintenance update.
In addition, MPs are concerned that the total project will last longer and cost more than the 5.5 years and €475m which has been allocated.
Many of the buildings in the complex date from the 17th and 18th centuries, with the Ridderzaal (knights’ chamber) dating back to the 13th century. The lower house of parliament itself currently meets in a modern building, opened in 1992, but since then there has only been limited repair work carried out.
Pechtold’s appointment to the job has been described as a classic example of ‘revolving door’ appointments by opposition MPs.
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