The Cabinet deeply regrets that the Dutch Petroleum Maatschappij “again caused unrest” over the reinforcement operation in Groningen. Director Atema said Friday in NRC that no 26,000 houses need to be strengthened, but only fifty. But the NAM is not about that at all, says Minister Vant Wout of Economic Affairs. He just has to pay the bill.
In Question Time in the House of Representatives Vant Wout stressed that, according to agreement, 26,000 buildings in the earthquake area will be inspected and that they will be strengthened if necessary. How long thats gonna take, he doesnt know. But the Groningers do not have to worry that the number will be drastically adjusted downwards. “We are very motivated to do everything for the Groningers.”
Groningers brand noks
NAM, who was responsible for the gas extraction that led to the earthquakes, was removed from the claims settlement process years ago. Thats why Vant Wout is terribly disappointed with the statements of Director Atema. He said in the newspaper that “according to the latest calculations, it appears that less than fifty houses need to be strengthened because of security. If we close the gas tap next year, there will be even fewer.”
The only role of NAM is that “all costs for the damage are charged to them, and they simply have to pay”, says Vant Wout. And if the company goes into arbitration against it, the cabinet will “fight back hard”. “We are prepared to do so up to the teeth.” That has no effect on the reinforcement operation, he underlines. “The Groningers will not notice any of that.”