The Flemish nitrogen minister must be secured and there are protests from farmers there too. But it is not as heavy as in the Netherlands with our southern neighbors. “What we have seen in the Netherlands is hallucinatory and unacceptable,” says the Flemish Minister of the Environment Zuhal Demir (N-VA) in Nieuwschuurs studio.
Demir, mother of a child of four, lives with her Dutch colleague Christianne van der Wal, who received a visit from angry farmers at home. “Children are the most vulnerable in our society”, they should remain out of control at all times as far as she is concerned.
In addition to compassion, she also has a message for her counterpart. Above all, she hopes that Van der Wal stands firm: “The Netherlands do your part.” She is firmly convinced that both the Flemish and the Dutch governments now have to go ahead.
“If we dont do that now, were going to promise things to farmers that we cant live up to. Thats lying.” Demir thinks that the same problems will return in the foreseeable future. “And then they say: look, politics dont dare to make decisions.”
Demir already expressed support to her Dutch colleague Christianne van der Wal via Twitter:
There were also fierce protests in Flanders. Meanwhile, the tempers there have calmed down. The measures are clear and the objection period has expired: 41 major polluters must be closed and bought out by 2025. Furthermore, the herd is reduced.
At a demonstration Wednesday evening, the atmosphere was friendly. But when the minister traveled through Flanders to discuss the measures, there was a lot of resistance. LTO leader Sjaak van der Tak, who represents farmers and gardeners in the Netherlands, praises the Flemish minister, who explained her policy in halls. He misses dialogue with The Hague, he says.
Demir would like to explain its policy. “As elected representative, you have to tell your story. But we can no longer porridges and keep wet.” With that message, she traveled through Flanders.
Minister Zuhal Demir traveled by halls to tell her story:
With regard to Demir, telling that story also includes debunking all misinformation. “Anger is fueled by deliberate disinformation,” she says. “Thats throwing oil on the fire, but we have to throw water on the fire,”
One of those stories, according to her, is that there is no place for farmers anymore. But that is pertinently not true, says Demir.
Ultimately, everything is focused on the public interest, says the Flemish minister. She emphasises the enormous economic damage if there are no nitrogen measures because no more permits for industry, housing and farmers are allowed to be issued. “We must prevent a permit stop and our health and nature should not suffer.”
After the summer, when all objections have been weighed, the Flemish Nitrogen Act must come into effect.