'Boring' Balkenende: media didn't get irony

24th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

24 April 2006, AMSTERDAM — Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende - who appearance has often been likened to Harry Potter - has chided the media for not recognising his description of himself as boring and petty bourgeois was meant to be ironic.

24 April 2006

AMSTERDAM — Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende - who appearance has often been likened to Harry Potter - has chided the media for not recognising his description of himself as boring and petty bourgeois was meant to be ironic.

The CDA leader said on the Christian Democrat Party's website he was annoyed that many newspapers published his comments without the required amount of irony.

Balkenende referred to himself as 'boring' and 'petty bourgeois' during a speech to a CDA meeting in Limburg on Saturday. He made the comments when it was suggested during a conversation with young party members that should go campaigning in discos and nightclubs.

Accusing the media of being lazy in the reporting of the meeting, Balkenende said on the CDA website: "None of the newspapers was present. They unthinkingly rewrote a report by news agency ANP, without stating that the same report noted my comments were jocular in nature".

Balkenende said there was a jovial mood at the party meeting, in part because of Friday's cabinet agreement on measures to support purchasing power.

"In this good-natured atmosphere, and in conversation with young people, the Prime Minister referred to comments by Freya van de Bossche, the Belgian Minister, about the 'bourgeois nature' of [Justice Minister] Piet Hein Donner and Balkenende," the CDA said.

Balkenende noted during the Limburg meeting that Donner had referred to the Belgian Minister's charge in a laid-back fashion when he was elected politician of the year 2005 by the parliamentary press corps.

The Prime Minister feels, the CDA said, that this is to way to deal with such comments: 'relaxed and with humour'.

Van de Bossche gave her unusually frank description of the top Dutch politicians during a magazine interview in December 2005.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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