Dutch Environment Minister Jacqueline Cramer told that the government is thinking seriously to curb the supply of government subsidies to environmental organisations. She also told she may even cut them off altogether. The step is taken after Dutch environmental groups received harsh criticism umpteen times. Responding to this Cramer has announced such step.
It is said that one such organization, Friends of the Earth Netherlands, has been attacked for its “dogmatic” and “undemocratic” campaign against illegal logging. These criticisms prompted the senior party in the ruling three-way coalition government, the Christian Democrats, to urge Minister Cramer to reconsider government support for environmental organisations.
Cramer with her Social Democrat leanings, came out in defence of the environmentalists. She said that they have an important part to play in involving citizens in environmental policies. According to Cramer the majority of the Dutch population has no objection to subsidies to groups that are critical of the government policy. She added that a line has to be drawn which means that the government has to be very critical with regard to organisations that provide “biased information” and “participate in the social debate in an undemocratic way”.
Cramer told that if the environmental groups continue such behaviour then it could lead to a termination of financial support. On the other hand Dutch fishermen are refusing to talk with Greenpeace any longer about the allocation of nature reserves in the North Sea. Ben Daalder, the President of the Federation of Fishermen Associations, said that they don’t negotiate with a criminal organization. He told that the Federation’s decision came a few days after Greenpeace dumped boulders off the coast of Denmark and Germany, in a fishing area were shrimpers, in particular, are very active.