“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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].
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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