Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Europe

‘Nokiagate’: Dutch lawmakers slam Mark Rutte after claims he deleted texts for years

Dutch lawmakers called for an urgent parliamentary debate after a media report claimed that Prime Minister Mark Rutte had deleted text messages from his phone every day for years without proper oversight.

The scandal, dubbed “Nokiagate” by local media in reference to the retro Nokia phone Rutte uses for much of his communication, emerged following a report by Dutch daily de Volkskrant. The prime minister allegedly deleted the texts from his phone, which has room for just 20 messages, despite Dutch law stating that correspondence from ministers should be kept to ensure public accountability.

“I have never consciously withheld important matters,” Rutte said at a press conference Wednesday in response to the allegations, and he denied breaking the law. “I’m not a big fan of smartphones,” he added, but admitted he would now switch to one.

It’s not the first time the long-serving center-right prime minister has been embroiled in a texting scandal. In 2018, he was accused of deleting a message from former Unilever CEO Paul Polman asking him to abolish a tax on dividends.

Lawmakers from across the political spectrum slammed Rutte for his actions.

“The prime minister erased his hard drive … at the end of each day. Perfect way to deny any problem you were involved in,” Socialist Party leader Lilian Marijnissen wrote on Twitter.

“Can we erase this cabinet?” far-right Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders wrote on social media.

A debate is likely to take place Thursday, before which lawmakers have said they want Rutte to submit a letter explaining his actions.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like

Energy

Dutch police fired shots at tractor-riding farmers who were protesting against plans to cut nitrogen emissions on Tuesday evening in northern Netherlands. Police said...

Europe

Press play to listen to this article MADRID — It’s riskier than the Cold War. It’s less predictable, with fewer ground rules, a real...

Europe

ROME — Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi left the NATO summit in Madrid early to attend a Cabinet meeting in Rome amid tensions in...

Europe

The Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut has shut down its production in the Belgian town of Wieze — which it says is the biggest...

Europe

Press play to listen to this article Ukrainian intelligence said on Wednesday that 144 Ukrainian officers and soldiers were returned home from Russian captivity in...

Europe

Alexander Fanta is a Brussels-based journalist who covers EU digital policy for netzpolitik.org. In the spring of 2021, European Commission President Ursula von der...

Foreign Policy

MADRID — Italy “will be supplying” Ukraine with heavy weapons “similar” to the howitzers that Germany and the Netherlands are sending to the country,...

Europe

MADRID — NATO leaders meeting in Madrid adopted a new strategic blueprint on Wednesday bluntly branding Russia as “the most significant and direct threat to...