The nitrogen crisis and energy crisis are cutting into society, which has only just come out of the corona crisis. The fact that the king is now also being looked at is new.
“The king is at the head of the government. He could have sent the ministers home, because things are going wrong in this country. The fact that he does not do that makes him a coward,” says Michel Reijinga, of the Netherlands in Resistance, who protest yesterday.
Formally, it is indeed the crown that appoints and dismisses the ministers, but in reality the king cannot decide that on his own.
The protest became most clearly visible and audible at the balcony scene at Noordeinde Palace, as can be seen here:
According to him, there were ‘thousands’ demonstrators in The Hague yesterday. “Farmers were without tractors, but also civilians I’ve never seen before. People said to me: thank you for organizing this. And people we saw before: people taking the day off. Telling that there were so many people.”
Can be heard clearly
It is not clear whether there were really thousands of people. There were several clearly visible groups scattered along the route. But they made themselves heard.
Insults such as ‘traitor’ were regularly heard from the rows of public as the glass carriage with King Willem-Alexander drove by. The booing at the end of the balcony scene was unmissable.
The dissatisfaction is mainly due to a lack of leadership, thinks social psychologist Paul van Lange. “People like certainty and are afraid of the future. Their experience is that the government reacts too late and therefore they have no confidence. The future seems too uncertain, because there is no direction.”
According to Van Lange, it was not only people with low incomes who are now in trouble, or farmers who fear the future of their farms, who made themselves heard. “The dissatisfaction is widespread. It is much more than just the farmers. People are not only concerned for themselves, but also for family members.”
According to him, it is certainly not inconceivable that people with decent incomes, who themselves have nothing to fear, were yelling. “The government is there for people, is the thought, but that is not the case now. And people with a higher income also have that feeling.”