Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The fall of Eveline Herfkens !!!!

The fall of Eveline Herfkens

Oh, a wonderful and embarrassing connection. Eveline Herfkens is a PvdA politician, who is now stationed at the UN. Most elements of the story are in Wikipedia, but let me give you a quick rundown.

She insists she needs to fly business class, even if that is not allowed for her function.

She applied for (and received) a $7.000 a month rental allowance for her upper class Manhattan apartment “to avoid traveling by subway”, a subsidy not allowed by UN rules to insure independence of the home country.

She applied for a US permanent residence permit, which is also not allowed. To add insult to injury she defended her behavior by stating “this discussion was Dutch small mindedness”, “she didn’t have time to go through all the minute rules” and “deserves these incentives connected to such a job profile”. For the record, her salary is way over $200.000.

Her own party is fed up with what one member of parliament called “Diva behavior”. I am pretty sure, and I hope, the bell for her last round has sounded. She has damaged the U.N., my country, her party and the taxpayers. Begone!!

Disclaimer: “PvdA”, which is considered here a mildly leftish social democratic party, often gets my vote. I am not a member.

Added: Foreign ministry is investigating a claim to have her hand back the quarter million she received against the rules, at the same time admitting they should never have given her that rental allowance in the first place. Party leader drops support. She is said not to respond to call for comments.

1 comment:

Jan Visser said...

According to today's newscast (Feb 23), ministers Verhagen and Koenders responded to parliament that the (Dutch) Ministry of Foreign Affairs sees no reason to reclaim the money from Herfkens as it is not clear if Herfkens knew she was not allowed to take the money and she never asked for it. This statement leads to the following conclusions:
1) The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is apparently in the habit of distributing money to former high ranking Ministry officials without even being asked to do so.
2) Receiving money that you never asked for is accepted behavior, at least for those who are not small minded and whose job profile is such that they are under no obligation to check the rules.

Both the behavior of Herfkens and the attitude of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should be of great concern to those who have an interest in the well-being of the UN and who wish to uphold the values that underlie democratic society and transparent governance.