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Government allocates 22.5 billion euros to pay Groningen’s ‘honor debt’

Mark Rutte and Hans Beilbrief at the planning presentation. Photo: Sem van der Wal ANP

The government has set aside an additional €13.5 billion in the budget to address the problems facing Groningen and North Drenthe as a result of decades of gas extraction.

The money will add to the 8.7 billion euros already allocated, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Mines Minister Hans Weilbrief said during a visit to the village of Groningen in Germerwolde on Tuesday afternoon.

The total amount is well below the €30 billion that local politicians have said is needed to repair damage to property and boost the local economy.

Nevertheless, over the next 30 years, the government plans to spend 250 million euros annually on improving living standards and economies in earthquake-affected areas.debt of honorto the region. The remaining money will be used to repair property damage.

The payments were recommended by a government study released earlier this year, which said the interests of the people of Groningen were second only to the economic importance of gas revenues for decades. increase.


Rutte again apologized for the mistakes he made and how the locals were “abandoned”. According to Rutte, the damage caused by 60 years of gas extraction cannot be undone by a stroke of a pen.

Weilbrief told local residents that the cabinet would address damage to homes, but would find it more difficult to resolve psychological damage. He said he was ashamed of what the government had done and that “generations living in earthquake zones have been severely disadvantaged.”

The government plans to take a total of 50 individual measures, including expanding compensation terms for property damage that the study had recommended.


Since 1986, more than 1,600 earthquakes up to magnitude 3.6 have struck the state. About 85,000 buildings were damaged at least once, but only 30% of the houses are safe again to date.

Other measures include the establishment of “earthquake coaches” to help people deal with problems caused by earthquakes. Plans have also been developed to reduce unemployment and school dropout rates.

The Dutch government has earned over €360 billion from developing the Groningen gas field since mining began in 1963.

Adjusted for inflation, total revenues from the gas region amounted to €428 billion, of which €360 billion went to the government and €66 billion to Shell and ExxonMobil, joint owners of NAM established in 1963. split between Distributing gas in the Netherlands.

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2023/04/government-allocates-e22-5-billion-to-pay-groningen-debt-of-honour/ Government allocates 22.5 billion euros to pay Groningen’s ‘honor debt’

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