Guillermo and Máxima return to the Netherlands after criticism for their holidays in Greece in the middle of the pandemic

The partial confinement decreed this Wednesday by the Government of the Netherlands to contain the pandemic has coincided with the school holidays of the All Saints holiday. It is a week off, and Kings Guillermo and Máxima decided to spend it with their family in Kranidi, on the Peloponnese peninsula, where they own a villa. The criticism unleashed by the trip has been fierce, because the Executive itself had asked the population for restraint “and to move as little as possible”, so the royal couple had to return a few hours after landing on Greek soil. “We canceled our vacation. We have seen the reaction of the people reflected in the dam, and it is intense and affects us ”, they pointed out in a note. Then they add that they do not want there to be doubts about “the need to observe security measures to combat covid-19, and a controversy such as this holiday has no place here.”

The truncated vacation adventure of the kings has had an impact on the center-right Cabinet because the Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, was informed of the plans of the kings, as is the case in a constitutional monarchy. However, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge did not know and was surprised by questions from journalists during the weekly press conference on Friday. Congress, for its part, has shown its incomprehension in the face of an exit that reduces credibility to the efforts of the authorities when applying the measures against covid-19. In particular, the limitation of unnecessary transfers, which is one of the most conflictive. “Travel as little as possible these days,” De Jonge had said, only to find this controversy later. “They have not set a good example for the public and it is very difficult to explain. Moreover, it is not understood that Rutte did not protect the king from this, ”said the Social Democratic deputy, Attje Kuiken, whose party is in the opposition. The left-wing liberals, who are part of the ruling coalition, have added that “it is important that the monarch take into account that the entire population tries to fight together against the coronavirus.”

Both criticisms are very harsh for a king like Guillermo, who wants to be close and natural, but has clashed several times in recent years with reality on account of his vacation. The last was this summer, also in Greece, when he did not keep a safe distance – neither did Queen Máxima, who was accompanying him – when he was photographed with the owner of the restaurant where they had eaten. In 2009, the kings sold the holiday villa that was being built in Mozambique. It was part of a luxury complex in the province of Machangulo, but the purchase coincided with the financial crisis, and opinion polls then showed the general discomfort towards said choice: a remote place to which security costs and security had to be added. displacement. There was a parliamentary debate on the matter and Guillermo and Máxima, then crown princes, transferred the house to the construction company Machangulo SA “for a symbolic amount.” In 2012, the couple acquired the Greek villa, the sale price of which was 4.5 million euros. From there he has chosen to return.

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