Following yesterday’s press conference, when Prime Minister Mark Rutte introduced a curfew as part of a new package of Coronavirus measures, the House of Representatives is currently deep in debate over the measures
By Adriana Dancu
“Nobody wants a curfew. Nobody is cheering. Not me, not Hugo de Jonge, not the whole Cabinet,” said Prime Minister Mark Rutte yesterday at the press conference where he explained the intention to impose such a curfew. According to Rutte, “we have to brace ourselves one more time, now that all experts warn against a third wave.” With the current infection figures and the emergence of the British variant, Rutte’s Cabinet is aware of the necessity of the new measures, however, whether the House of Representatives agrees to these measures will be revealed today.
Yesterday, the government called for a curfew, among further visiting restrictions, such as flights ban to and from the United Kingdom, South America and South Africa. The main cause for these restrictions is the increasing number of positive Coronavirus cases with the British variant, which might not be contained by the current vaccine.
Is a curfew necessary?
NOS reports that the main question in today’s debate will be whether the House of Representatives sees enough reason to impose a curfew. In the past, the House spoke out against introducing a curfew. For instance, in November, in a motion by PVV party chairman Geert Wilders, the House did not think that a curfew is necessary. Similarly, last week, a majority was still against it, including D66, one of the (then still active) government parties.
Forum for Democracy is also fiercely against it, and other parties. Including SP, GroenLinks and PvdA, had their doubts until now, calling the curfew a “very severe measure.” So, it is still unknown whether they changed their minds.
Is compromise possible?
Political reporter Ron Fresen argues that in order to introduce a curfew, the outgoing Cabinet will have to come up with a good substantiation today, since according to him, “there isn’t really one compelling overriding argument for introducing the curfew.”
Moreover, because the current Rutte’s Third Cabinet is outgoing, and the curfew is considered such a drastic measure, the Cabinet must convince a considerable majority in order to pass it. Nevertheless, the Cabinet and the House of Representatives might get to a compromise and establish the beginning of the curfew hour a few hours later than it was initially intended. In fact, it is believed that the House is trying to do this, arguing that it is in the interest of people.