Saint Javelin
[Source: telegraph.co.uk]

“King of Frugality” Promotes Fiscal Conservatism for Everybody Except Ukrainians

Mark Rutte’s center-right government stands out among its European counterparts for its staunch anti-Russian policies and fealty to the corrupt government of Ukraine.

Back in the era of the Napoleonic wars, Russian Czar Alexander played a central role in the restoration of the Netherlands as a sovereign nation by helping to drive out the French.

But today, the Dutch government, led by Prime Minister Rutte of the center-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD Party), is heavily backing Ukraine in its war against Russia and denouncing the Russians at all turns.

Even more so than many of his European counterparts.

Rutte’s hard-line anti-Russian posturing is not benefiting the Dutch people as the war in Ukraine is contributing to rising energy prices and inflation. How much longer the Dutch people will tolerate this situation remains in question.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands plays it strictly by the books, paying for everything himself, including his coffee.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte [Source: telegraph.co.uk]

A former human resources manager who bikes to work every day, Rutte surpassed Ruud Lubbers (1982-1994) in August as the longest-serving prime minister in Dutch history. Rutte’s well-known fiscal conservatism—European lawmakers consider him the “king of frugality”—has remarkably disappeared when it comes to Ukraine.

Teachers protesting in November to demand extra structural investment in education. As a fiscal conwervative, Mr. Rutte has been criticized for  squeezing the salaries of nurses, teachers and farmers.
Dutch nurses, farmers and teachers protest wage cuts under neo-liberal program of Prime Minister Mark Rutte. [Source: nytimes.com]

In a speech before the Ukrainian parliament in May in which he denounced Russian aggression and crimes, Rutte boasted about the Netherlands’ sending anti-tank and anti-aircraft equipment to Ukraine along with armored howitzers and other military weapons.

Rutte addressing the Ukrainian parliament in May. [Source: pledgetimes.com]

But Rutte has not been so generous with his own people.

Branch of British Intelligence?

There is some legitimate concern that the Netherlands is evolving under Rutte’s leadership into an outpost of British intelligence. That is because organizations suspected of having links with British intelligence, such as Bellingcat and the White Helmets, now have their headquarters in the Netherlands.

Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, owner of Azov Steel Factory, also keeps his headquarters in the Netherlands.

Mr Akhmetov to Seek Compensation from Russia for Damages
Rinat Akhmetov [Source: steelguru.com]

In a documentary and book entitled Donetsk Mafia: Anthology, Ukrainian author Serhiy Kuzin claims Akhmetov held the role of a “mafia thug” in his early years. Hans van Zon, Professor of Central and Eastern European Studies at the University of Sunderland, said that “as early as 1986, Rinat and his brother Igor were involved in criminal activities.” Of course, the book and documentary are not available anymore on the Internet.

Rinat Akhmetov (former) owner of the Azov Steel Factory in Mariupol, DPR. [Source: mronline.org]

New evidence reveals that Akhmetov has invested a lot of his money in the Netherlands—a money-laundering haven—in a holding company called Metinvest B.V. This is a fake company registered in the Netherlands.

Part of the Metinvest group is the Illich Steel Factory, which was destroyed like the Azov Steel Factory.

Metinvest Group is an integrated group of Ukrainian steel and mining companies that manages every link of the value chain, from mining and processing iron ore and coal to making and selling semi-finished and finished steel products. It was established on June 6, 2006. [Photo Source: Dutch Chamber of Commerce Kamer van Koophande]

Akhmetov is a major shareholder of Metinvest Group and has been its General Director since 2013; Yuriy Ryzhenkov is a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum (WEF). WEF CEO Klaus Schwab proudly said some time ago that he penetrated almost every government [in the West].

Yuriy Ryzhenkov: “The competition in the market is growing”
Yuriy Ryzhenkov [Source: metinvestholding.com]
Davos 2022: Klaus Schwab on Fixing the Global Trust Crisis | TIME
Klaus Schwab [Source: time.com]

Dutch Must Win the War—Democracy Be Damned

Mark Rutte said several times during a recent weekly press conference that the Netherlands is at war with Russia and that “we the Dutch” must win the war.

The “King of Frugality” knows very well, however, that he cannot just declare war; this is not allowed under the Dutch constitution, nor under international law.

Ukraine and the Netherlands are willing to work jointly and effectively in the interests of the whole of Europe - President following the meeting with Mark Rutte in Kyiv
Mark Rutte with Volodymyr Zelensky in July 2022. [Source: president.gov.ua]

On April 6, 2016, the Netherlands held a referendum on ratifying the Association Agreement with Ukraine, which aimed to establish closer ties between the two countries. The Dutch people voted NO. But Rutte’s government went ahead with the agreement anyway—showing a disdain for democracy consistent with his neo-liberal economic programs that benefit primarily the rich.

Desperate Effort to Sustain Legitimacy Amidst Financial Scandal

The Dutch have considerable investments in Ukraine—at least 315 Dutch companies operate there.

Chart, pie chart Description automatically generated
[Source: euromaidanpress.com]

However, it is clear that Rutte and other leaders like him are attaching themselves to the Ukrainian cause and playing the Russophobia card in a desperate attempt to sustain the legitimacy of the decaying neo-liberal order and to deflect attention from their own corruption and mismanagement.

On top of the “King of Frugality,” Rutte is also known as “Teflon Mark” for his ability to dodge scandals—including one where thousands of young families were plunged into debt and despair after being wrongfully accused of child benefit fraud.

In 2019, members of Rutte’s Cabinet were accused of withholding taxes and a scandal arose in the Parliament. Rutte tried to claim that “nothing strange or improper” happened when his government ministers collectively decided not to fully present facts and information about the tax scandal to the Tweede Kamer.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra, was listed in the Pandora Papers unmasking hidden owners of off-shore companies. He had an interest in a letterbox company in the British Virgin Islands for many years, according to Trouw, Het Financieele Dagblad and Investico.

Wopke Hoekstra | Government.nl
Wopke Hoekstra [Source: government.nl]

This is a good example of the corruption in the Netherlands which increasingly seems to be intertwined with that of Ukraine, given the close relations that have developed between the two countries.

The Netherlands ranks eighth in the Financial Secrecy Index 2021 (FSI) of the world’s most secretive countries in terms of financial services and money laundering. The Netherlands is known as a tax haven for companies and billions of euros in profits flow through the country every year. According to the latest figures from 2021, the Netherlands is home to no fewer than 15,000 “special financial institutions” (SFIs), so-called letterbox companies, which are used by foreign multinationals to transport €4,000 billion annually through the Netherlands.

The Founding of UK’s Bellingcat and Its Connection to the Netherlands

In 2014 immediately after the MH17 disaster—the crash of a Dutch plane over eastern Ukraine causing the deaths of 298 civilians—a former blogger and journalist named Eliot Higgins founded the so-called investigative research platform Bellingcat with the help of MI5 and MI6.

Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins poses for a portrait after giving a press conference opposite the Houses of Parliament in London
Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins. [Source: reuters.com]

This platform started the investigation into the MH17 disaster and quickly came to the conclusion, without “hard evidence,” that Russia had shot the plane from the sky. Considerable evidence actually points to Ukraine as the culprit. Significantly, the militias in the Donbas were not even yet supported militarily by Russia in 2014, as they are now in the special operation.

Ukraine’s support for the EU’s illegal coup in Syria (which fortunately failed) indicates a connection to MI5 or MI6 and to an institution called the Statecraft Institute, where plans were devised for the coup d’états in Syria and Ukraine.

On July 11, 2016, when five Ukrainian officials visited the UK, official documents described them as “reserve officers,” though in the draft application for the Ministry of Defense, they are described as a “Ukrainian Special Forces team.”

Bellingcat is not a journalistic research agency but the spy office for the European Union (EU). Since 2018 the Bellingcat website has been operated by Stichting Bellingcat, a Dutch foundation.

It is financed by the Brenninkmeijer family, a wealthy family originating from the Netherlands (C&A), along with George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, the Dutch Postcode Lottery and the Sigrid Rausing Trust. 

Brenninkmeijer family. [Source: alchetron.com]
George Soros - Wikipedia
George Soros [Source: wikipedia.org]

Bellingcat received a €500,000 cash prize from the Nationale Postcode Loterij of the Netherlands; it used these funds to open a new office in The Hague in 2019. However, Bellingcat shifted its main office to Amsterdam.

The money from the foundation will probably be laundered in Amsterdam Zuidoost, a neighborhood with empty office buildings, only mailboxes.

We Are Bellingcat - bellingcat
[Source: bellingcat.com]

Other organizations related to the UK connection—intelligence MI5/MI6—EU Bellingcat, is the former (Syrian war) White Helmets organization, a pseudo aid organization founded by the UK. Its CEO was James Le Mesurier who, after the EU and the West lost the war in Syria, was no longer “useful” and was killed under mysterious circumstances in Turkey, with many believing that he was murdered.

How the White Helmets, Syria's Volunteer First Responders, Became a  Conspiracy Theory | WIRED
[Source: wired.com]

Statement from a Former White Helmet Member

My name is Abdulhadi Kamil. My father is Ahmat Kamil and I am 26 years old.

I worked for the “white helmets” since May 2013 – 2019

At first I thought it was a civilian aid organization. Then I was told that I was going to get paid to act as an actor.

I was there when they shot their video in the Salah al-Din neighborhood, Aleppo. There was a burning bus (itself set on fire by the white helmets), next to the building were children. But it was all fake. Kids were waiting for us to supposedly help them, but they were not hurt or in need, hired child actors, they all had make-up on their faces and hands, blood and supposed debris from bombing had been painted up, bombing that had not happened. We supposedly helped the children and another group of people was also helped (supposedly) in the basement of the building.

This is what I saw, I know that some scenes were filmed in the Bustan al-Qasr area. We were in constant staging. Among us were many people who worked with militants (al-Queda, al-Nusra, Fatah-as-Sham). They participated in the “making” of the video at “al-Mashan” square, videos that went viral, at CNN, Al-Jazeera, BBC, etc.

These statements detail the importance of the White Helmets in deceiving Western publics about the war in Syria—in a tactic being repeated with regards to Ukraine.

The Netherlands is widely known for its liberal culture and progressive drug policies, but is fast transforming itself under Mark Rutte into something else entirely.


CovertAction Magazine is made possible by subscriptionsorders and donations from readers like you.

Blow the Whistle on U.S. Imperialism

 

 

Click the whistle and donate

 

When you donate to CovertAction Magazine, you are supporting investigative journalism. Your contributions go directly to supporting the development, production, editing, and dissemination of the Magazine.

CovertAction Magazine does not receive corporate or government sponsorship. Yet, we hold a steadfast commitment to providing compensation for writers, editorial and technical support. Your support helps facilitate this compensation as well as increase the caliber of this work.

Please make a donation by clicking on the donate logo above and enter the amount and your credit or debit card information.

CovertAction Institute, Inc. (CAI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your gift is tax-deductible for federal income purposes. CAI’s tax-exempt ID number is 87-2461683.

We sincerely thank you for your support.


Disclaimer: The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s). CovertAction Institute, Inc. (CAI), including its Board of Directors (BD), Editorial Board (EB), Advisory Board (AB), staff, volunteers and its projects (including CovertAction Magazine) are not responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. This article also does not necessarily represent the views the BD, the EB, the AB, staff, volunteers, or any members of its projects.

Differing viewpoints: CAM publishes articles with differing viewpoints in an effort to nurture vibrant debate and thoughtful critical analysis. Feel free to comment on the articles in the comment section and/or send your letters to the Editors, which we will publish in the Letters column.

Copyrighted Material: This web site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. As a not-for-profit charitable organization incorporated in the State of New York, we are making such material available in an effort to advance the understanding of humanity’s problems and hopefully to help find solutions for those problems. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. You can read more about ‘fair use’ and US Copyright Law at the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School.

Republishing: CovertAction Magazine (CAM) grants permission to cross-post CAM articles on not-for-profit community internet sites as long as the source is acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original CovertAction Magazine article. Also, kindly let us know at info@CovertActionMagazine.com. For publication of CAM articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: info@CovertActionMagazine.com.

By using this site, you agree to these terms above.


About the Author

8 COMMENTS

  1. […] Netherland’s Scandal-Ridden Prime Minister Mark Rutte Embodies Hypocrisy of Global Ruling Elite Branch of British Intelligence?There is some legitimate concern that the Netherlands is evolving under Rutte’s leadership into an outpost of British intelligence. That is because organizations suspected of having links with British intelligence, such as Bellingcat and the White Helmets, now have their headquarters in the Netherlands.Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, owner of Azov Steel Factory, also keeps his headquarters in the Netherlands. […]

  2. […] Netherland’s Scandal-Ridden Prime Minister Mark Rutte Embodies Hypocrisy of Global Ruling Elite Branch of British Intelligence?There is some legitimate concern that the Netherlands is evolving under Rutte’s leadership into an outpost of British intelligence. That is because organizations suspected of having links with British intelligence, such as Bellingcat and the White Helmets, now have their headquarters in the Netherlands.Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, owner of Azov Steel Factory, also keeps his headquarters in the Netherlands. […]

  3. “Rutte’s hard-line anti-Russian posturing is not benefiting the Dutch people as the war in Ukraine is contributing to rising energy prices and inflation. How much longer the Dutch people will tolerate this situation remains in question.”

    Are you suggesting that Rutte should be pro-Russia despite Putin’s fascist policies towards Ukraine? Even folks with no knowledge of intelligence have would easily understood that if Putin succeeds in his invasion of Ukraine, he will do it again elsewhere.

    It’s Putin who is to blame for the energy crisis not those who are taking strong stance against him.

Leave a Reply