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Netherlands, the new minister Jetten is the “Green Robot” of the Rutte government

from Sara Gandolfi

The spotlight is on the young manager and prime minister for the climate who promises to turn the page to the “frugal” prime minister. A woman in finance

Denmark and Holland compete the title of European ‘leader’ in the fight against climate change. If the government of the Social Democrat Puts Frederiksen in Copenhagen announces more than ambitious goals – a 70% cut in CO2 emissions and a stop to the use of fossil fuels in aviation by 2030 – the fourth executive led by the liberal-conservative Mark Rutte in the Netherlands, who took office this morning, Monday 10 January, promises not to be outdone. The coalition pact, closed ten months after the elections last March, provides for a 35 billion euro package (of investments over the next ten years) to be allocated to “climate measures”, to tackle the dangerous effects of rising sea, and the construction of two new nuclear power plants. About one third of the Netherlands lies below the water level and is heavily dependent on gas. “We will be the leader of the fight for the climate”, now assures Rutte.

Women in government

Many women are in key posts in the new government, including Sigrid Kaag, who will lead the finance department. However, all eyes are now on the Prime Minister for Climate and Energy, young manager Rob Jetten, 34 years old, exponent of the progressive party D66 (like Kaag), who said he was ready to lead the Dutch towards the great challenge of the future: the 55% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2030 and therefore, inevitably, also the abandonment of traditional role of ‘leader of the frugal’, obsessed with austerity, within the European Union.

The nickname

They nicknamed him “Robot”, due to his initial somewhat awkward manner, and “Radical Green”, for his commitment against climate change, and against the spending reticence of the previous Rutte governments. Certainly, Rob Jetten promises to be a key figure in Dutch politics. Born in Veghel in Brabant, he made a meteoric career in The Hague, as ProRail’s regional manager and becoming an MP in March 2017. Number two of the D66 party, behind the scenes was the great coalition negotiator who brought Rutte back to the government.

Long-lived leader

Rutte, 54, in government since 2010, the second longest political leader of the European Union after Hungary’s Viktor Orban, relies on the same last four parties as the last executive: his center-right VVD, Kaag’s progressive D66 , Hoekstra’s center-right board of directors and conservative Christen Unie. Nicknamed the prime minister “Teflon” for his ability to dodge scandals and stay in power, he ensured that with his fourth government “he will lay the foundations for the next generation”, especially on the climate.

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