Remkes hits back at critics over Thai holiday

5th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

5 January 2005, AMSTERDAM — Dutch Interior Minister Johan Remkes has brushed off criticism for continuing with his holiday in Thailand despite being told about the tsunami. He did not visit the devastated Thai island Phuket until Wednesday.

5 January 2005

AMSTERDAM — Dutch Interior Minister Johan Remkes has brushed off criticism for continuing with his holiday in Thailand despite being told about the tsunami. He did not visit the devastated Thai island Phuket until Wednesday.

Remkes was at Bangkok Airport on 26 December waiting for a connecting flight to the Thai resort Koh Samui when he was told about the tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

Almost half the people questioned for an opinion poll in the Netherlands said Remkes should resign. A clear majority also said his duties as a minister should have come before his holiday, no matter how tired he might have been.

MPs in the Dutch Parliament have also criticised Remkes for not going to the affected area immediately.

Remkes insisted on Wednesday that he had realised on hearing the terrible news that relief workers, not ministers, were needed in the areas hit by the tsunami.

He said he stayed in contact with his officials in The Hague by mobile phone and had decided to travel to Phuket on Monday before he was informed about the MPs' criticism. He described the criticism as "hype". 

Remkes said his visit was now worthwhile as Dutch aid workers are helping to look for victims and care for survivors.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news, Indian Ocean disaster

 

0 Comments To This Article