PM appoints ministers, welcomes 'experience'

22nd September 2006, Comments 0 comments

22 September 2006, AMSTERDAM — Former government ministers Ernst Hirsch Ballin and Pieter Winsemius will replace the resigned ministers Piet Hein Donner (Justice) and Sybilla Dekker (Housing, Planning and the Environment).

22 September 2006

AMSTERDAM — Former government ministers Ernst Hirsch Ballin and Pieter Winsemius will replace the resigned ministers Piet Hein Donner (Justice) and Sybilla Dekker (Housing, Planning and the Environment).

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said the Christian Democrat CDA's Hirsch Ballin will take over the justice portfolio, while the Liberal VVD's Winsemius will take up the post vacated by Dekker.

Hirsch Ballin, 55, previously served as justice minister between 1989 and 1994 in the Lubbers III cabinet. Winsemius, 64, served as environment minister between 1982-86 in the Lubbers I cabinet.

Prime Minister Balkenende said he was "extremely pleased" with the two new government ministers, who bring "great experience" to the government.

Hirsch Ballin was to be sworn in on Friday, but Winsemius is currently abroad and will not be sworn in until next week.

Hirsch Ballin is currently a member of the Council of State and Winsemius is a member of the Academic Council for Government Policy. They can resume these functions when a new cabinet is appointed.

Balkenende refused to speculate whether Hirsch Ballin or Winsemius would return as government ministers after the November election.

Donner and Dekker resigned on Thursday in response to the damming report by the Dutch Safety Board into the Schiphol detention centre fire last October. Eleven detainees were killed in the blaze.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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