Ex Dutch minister slams roads policy

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Former health minister says he is fed up with the constant traffic jams and hopes for a traffic disaster.

15 April 2008

Former Dutch health minister Elco Brinkman has told De Telegraaf newspaper that he is totally fed up with the problem of traffic jams in the Netherlands. Mr Brinkman chairs the employers' organisation Constructing Netherlands and says a traffic disaster would be a blessing in disguise.

"It would be a blessing for this country if everything came to a standstill for three days in a row," he said.

The former Christian Democratic politician, who left politics in 1995 for a career in business, is now the director of Bouwend Nederland, the country's leading employer in the construction sector.

Brinkman criticises politicians for a lack of decisiveness, comparing their passivity to the situation leading up to the catastrophic floods of 1953, in which 1800 people lost their lives.

Brinkman says he doesn't hope for a disaster of the same proportion or the deaths of a lot of people. "But in the course of the years I’ve come to realise that politicians only take decisive action when it’s already too late."

He says politicians will only take difficult decisions when confronted by a national disaster. He is calling on transport minister Camiel Eurlings, to speed up the construction of strategically placed new roads.

[Radio Netherlands / Frank Scimone / Expatica]

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