Groningen has already solved enough problems for the rest of the country. So even parties that are in favor of nuclear energy do not want a nuclear power plant in Groningen’s Eemshaven. Almost all parties in the Great Groningen Election Debate agreed on this.
But furthermore, a number of strong differences of opinion emerged in the debate in the Groninger Forum. Such as that the influx of asylum seekers does not simply decrease and Ter Apel is therefore not simply relieved. And that a party like the VVD that wants fewer asylum seekers does not want a restriction on the number of labor migrants and expats.
With a sometimes quite noisy audience and candidate MPs who interrupted each other several times, it was certainly a lively debate. About the abolition of the deductible in healthcare, for example, which the ‘left’ is in favor of and the ‘right’ is against.
For example, Annemarie Heite of Omtzigt’s New Social Contract made it clear that as far as she is concerned, the deductible cannot be reduced because it is too expensive. Julian Bushoff of GroenLinks-PvdA attacked her and other parties for not having their programs calculated. “How can you say that something is not affordable?”
Bushoff was in turn attacked by Sandra Beckerman of the SP, because GroenLinks-PvdA does not want to immediately abolish the deductible completely, but only in steps.
BBB: no additional homes in the North
All parties want to build additional homes in the North, although Roelien Kamminga of the VVD thought that the left-wing parties were pretending that the government would build those homes, while in her opinion it should really be done by entrepreneurs.
Herma Hemmen of BBB was the only one against additional housing construction. That party mainly wants to build up existing homes but keep the agricultural land for agriculture. It’s bad enough that much of that land is filled with wind turbines and solar panels, Hemmen thought.
BBB was also virtually alone in the construction of the Lely line. All other parties want to build that line anyway, even if it costs extra billions of euros. BBB is not against it, but is afraid that many Randstad residents will come to the North and believes local public transport is more important.
Hans Vijlbrief above Henk Kamp
Between the debates, the candidate MPs were presented with a number of dilemmas between which they had to choose. For example, VVD member Kamminga chose Hans Vijlbrief over Henk Kamp, but she immediately added that Vijlbrief continued the policy that she herself had initiated as a policy official for the earthquake victims.
Stieneke van der Graaf of the Christian Union chose the CDA over the SGP. And Wieke Paulusma of D66 opted for a city hospital over a regional hospital, but immediately added that she fought hard in the House of Representatives for the preservation of the children’s heart center in Groningen.
The debate was organized by RTV Noord, OOG TV, Dagblad van het Noorden and the Groninger Forum and can be found on their websites and on NPO Politics.