Thursday 25 February 2021

Finance minister Hoekstra on thin ice after skating rink gaffe

A still from the Leeuwarder Courant video of the visit

CDA leader Wopke Hoekstra has apologised for skating a few rounds with world champion Sven Kramer at the Thialf stadium when others are not allowed to use the covered skating rink because of coronavirus restrictions.

Hoekstra shared a photo of himself and Kramer on Twitter which lead to surprise and anger among fellow politicians.

Caretaker sports minister Tamara van Ark was particularly critical of the move and said the minister had overstepped the mark. ‘This is really not done. Covered sports accommodations are closed to the public and this should not have happened.’

Hoekstra, who said the visit had been part of the CDA election campaign and that he had been discussing top-level sport, told reporters he understood why people had been upset. ‘I should never have put those skates on. I didn’t slip physically but slip up I did,’ he said when asked if he’d been ‘skating on thin ice’.

Hoekstra is not the only CDA politician to have breached coronavirus rules. Caretaker justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus was photographed embracing guests at his wedding party while caretaker defense minister Ank Bijleveld attended a crowded church service.

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