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Record Number of Women in Dutch Govt

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The next Dutch government will include an unprecedented record number of women, media reports revealed.

An unprecedented 14 of the 29 ministers and secretaries of state will be women, including 10 of the 20 ministers.

Thus, the new government will swear in on January 10 after reaching a deal in December – headed by Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Dilan Yesilgoz-Zegerius, born in Ankara, has become minister of justice and security.

The 43-year-old, who came to the Netherlands as a girl, was nominated by the centre-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), to which Rutte also belongs.

The current minister of the interior, Kajsa Ollongren, will also become the new defence minister.

Previous finance minister and centre-right leader Wopke Hoekstra, known for his hawkish stance on spending, will become foreign minister. Former Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag will replace him in the exchequer brief.

The finance minister’s appointment is closely watched as the Netherlands is seen as one of the European Union’s “frugal four” member states alongside Austria, Denmark and Sweden that clash with other nations about the EU’s budget.

Rutte’s government resigned in January ahead of the general election over a welfare benefits scandal. It had emerged that the tax authorities wrongly accused 26,000 families of fraud. It demanded the repayment of thousands of euros between 2013 and 2019.

The government also faced large protests over COVID-19 restrictions; however, ciritics consider Rutte as a steady and modest leader.

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