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Threats force Friesland alderman to move away from his municipality


Threats force Friesland alderman to move away from his municipality

Alderman Gerban But of the Friesland municipality of Ooststellingwerf has been receiving threats for about 18 months. The threats have become so bad that he has decided to move out of his municipality, But told Omrop Fryslân.

According to But, the threats are related to his political position as a GroenLinks alderman, the portfolio he is in charge of – public space, energy transition, and traffic and transport – and his more nuanced view on the wolf’s return to his municipality. But reported the threats to the police, but the case was dropped.

Because the situation has not changed in the past year and a half, the alderman has decided to sell his house and move to another municipality, about an hour away. The Ooststellingwerf municipal council has approved the relocation.

But stressed that he did not make this decision overnight, but he has come to the conclusion that he can’t continue to live under threat. “It affects my functioning, it gets under your skin. I keep looking over my shoulder. That’s why we have decided to leave our home.”

Threats against officials in public administration are a nationwide problem in the Netherlands. A survey two years ago showed that over 60 percent of aldermen and 75 percent of mayors have received threats or harassment at least once.

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