The Limburg CDA deputies Ger Koopmans and Hubert Mackus resigned immediately on Friday. The reason is an affair involving former CDA deputy Herman Vrehen. As director of a landscape foundation, he would have funneled tons of subsidies to his own companies.
One of those Vrehen companies is involved in forest management. Koopmans and Mackus helped that company, according to a publication NRC of assignments.
The province is one of the subsidy providers of the foundation of which Vrehen is director, the Foundation for Conservation of Small Landscape Elements (IKL). Governor Theo Bovens has launched an independent integrity investigation into the state of affairs around Vrehen, he said on Tuesday. It also looks at the role of the province and its administrators in this.
The Provincial Executive (GS) issued a brief statement on the departure of Koopmans and Mackus on Friday. “The reason is the doubts that have arisen about the spending of subsidy funds by the director of one of the partners of the Province in landscape management,” said the council of GS.
Koopmans: ‘There is also such a thing as morality’
Legality in subsidies is important, Koopmans writes. “But there is also such a thing as morality. Are you allowed to take advantage of every opportunity that the government offers you? The first impression I got in recent days of the subsidy flows, assignments to IKL and its director Herman Vrehen and Herman Vrehen as person and his BVs is at odds with my moral views. ”
Koopmans says in his letter to the states that he takes responsibility as political leader of the CDA in Limburg. “This creates room for my party to work on new leadership,” he writes.
The Provincial Council is also preparing a parliamentary inquiry into another affair about Koopmans, a Venlo land issue in which he would have been involved.
Mackus says he takes responsibility
Mackus, for his part, also points to Vrehen as the reason for his departure. “There appear to be interrelationships in landscape management that are undesirable and unacceptable. With Herman Vrehen as the central person in each case,” says Mackus. As a portfolio holder for Agriculture and Landscape, he acknowledges that he feels a sense of responsibility in this. “And I’ll take that too.”
Limburg has an extra-parliamentary College, a college that is composed on the basis of expertise instead of party membership. “In the context of an extra-parliamentary College, it is up to Parliament to give direction to how to deal with the vacancies now open,” GS writes in a statement.
Source site www.nu.nl