Monday 20 September 2021

Rutte calls anti-curfew violence ‘unacceptable’ but rules out calling in army

Photo: Arno Mikkor via Flickr

Prime minister Mark Rutte has described the violence that accompanied anti-lockdown protests in some Dutch towns and cities as ‘unacceptable’.

Rutte said 99% of people were complying with the stricter new rules, including the 9pm curfew that came into force on Saturday, He singled out the vandalism in Amsterdam and Eindhoven, as well as Enschede where a hospital building came under attack, for special condemnation.

‘Any normal person will look at this with disgust and ask themselves what possessed these people,’ Rutte said. ‘This has nothing to do with protesting: it is criminal violence and that is how we will treat it.’

The prime minister expressed his support for police, municipal mayors and journalists who were targeted while reporting on the weekend’s violence. He said police had responded ‘adequately’ to the situation and dismissed the idea of calling in the army to enforce the curfew.

We’re not taking these measures for fun,’ Rutte said. ‘We’re doing it because we’re fighting the virus and right now it’s the virus that’s taking away our freedom, and it’s because of the virus that we’re taking these rotten measures.’

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