Ivo Opstelten

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Ivo Opstelten
Ivo Opstelten 2011.jpg
Minister of Security and Justice of the Netherlands
In office
14 October 2010 – 10 March 2015
Prime Minister Mark Rutte
Preceded by Ernst Hirsch Ballin
Succeeded by Stef Blok
Party chair of the People's
Party for Freedom and Democracy
In office
23 May 2008 – 14 October 2010
Leader Mark Rutte
Preceded by Jan van Zanen
Succeeded by Benk Korthals
Acting Mayor of Tilburg
In office
4 November 2009 – 16 July 2010
Preceded by Ruud Vreeman
Succeeded by Peter Noordanus
Mayor of Rotterdam
In office
16 February 1999 – 1 January 2009
Preceded by Bram Peper
Succeeded by Ahmed Aboutaleb
Mayor of Utrecht
In office
1 November 1992 – 16 February 1999
Preceded by Lien Vos-van Gortel
Succeeded by Annie Brouwer-Korf
Acting Mayor of Beerta
In office
1 December 1983 – 1 March 1984
Preceded by Hanneke Jagersma
Succeeded by Hanneke Jagersma
Mayor of Delfzijl
In office
1 December 1980 – 1 September 1987
Preceded by Paul Scholten
Succeeded by Ed Haaksman
Mayor of Doorn
In office
1 October 1977 – 1 December 1980
Preceded by Anton van Harinxma thoe Slooten
Succeeded by Henk Goudsmit
Mayor of Dalen
In office
26 August 1972 – 1 October 1977
Preceded by Frits Fontein
Succeeded by Joost Hoffscholte
Personal details
Born Ivo Willem Opstelten
(1944-01-31) 31 January 1944 (age 71)
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Political party People's Party for Freedom and Democracy
Spouse(s) Mariette Dutilh
Children 4 children
Residence Rotterdam, Netherlands
Alma mater Leiden University
(Master of Laws)
Occupation Politician
Civil servant
Television presenter
Religion Remonstrants

Ivo Willem Opstelten (born 31 January 1944) is a Dutch politician of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). He served as Minister of Security and Justice in the Cabinets Rutte I and II from 14 October 2010 until 10 March 2015. Previously he served as the Mayor of Dalen from 1972 to 1977, Mayor of Doorn from 1977 to 1980, and Mayor of Delfzijl from 1980 to 1987, during which he also served Acting Mayor of Beerta from 1983 until 1984. After resigning as Mayor of Delfzijl in 1987, he become the Director-General for Public Order and Security at the Ministry of Interior. In 1992 he left the Ministry when he was selected as the Mayor of Utrecht. In 1999 he was nominated as the Mayor of his birthplace, Rotterdam, and traded Utrecht for Rotterdam on 16 February 1999. On 23 May 2008, he was elected as the Party chair of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy and remained Mayor of Rotterdam until his retirement on 1 January 2009. He also served as Acting Mayor of Tilburg from 2009 to 2010.[1]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Opstelten studied law at Leiden University, where he specialised in constitutional and public law. He graduated in 1969 and worked from 1970 to 1972 at the municipality of Vlaardingen before starting a long-term career as Mayor.

Politics[edit]

In 1972 Opstelten began as Mayor of Dalen, at the age of 28 the youngest Mayor of the Netherlands. In 1977 he became Mayor of Doorn. In 1980 he became the Mayor of Delfzijl. In 1983 he became Acting Mayor of Beerta for four months because of the pregnancy of Mayor Hanneke Jagersma. In 1992 he made the switch to the fourth largest Municipality of the Netherlands, Utrecht. In 1999 he was nominated as Mayor of Rotterdam, the second biggest city of the Netherlands. In 2002 he was praised for his handling of the aftermath of the assassination of politician Pim Fortuyn. He served as Mayor of Rotterdam for ten years. He resigned on January 1, 2009. He was succeeded by Ahmed Aboutaleb. On March 31, 2008, he was elected as the new Party chair of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy. On November 6, 2009, it was announced by Wim van de Donk, the Queen's Commissioner of North Brabant, that Opstelten had accepted the position as Acting Mayor of Tilburg after Mayor Ruud Vreeman's resignation was sought by the City council of Tilburg.

On August 4, 2010, Queen Beatrix nominated Opstelten as fifth informateur in the 2010 Dutch cabinet formation.[2] On September 4, the Queen replaced Opstelten with Herman Tjeenk Willink, the Vice President of the Council of State as the new informateur.[3] On September 13, 2010 he became informateur a second time[4] and on September 28 the negotiations were finished. A coalition agreement was reached between People's Party for Freedom and Democracy and Christian Democratic Appeal to form a minority coalition, supported by the Party for Freedom to obtain a majority. Formateur Mark Rutte asked Opstelten as the Minister of Security and Justice in the new cabinet. Because a Party chair can not serve in the cabinet, he resigned as a Party chair of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy on October 14, 2010, the same day he took office as the new Minister of Security and Justice.[5]

During his tenure as Minister of Security and Justice, Opstelten was the driving force behind the closure of the majority of The Netherlands' coffeeshops and growshops effectively ending the successful 1970's instituted experiment where soft drugs were tolerated and separated from the hard drugs market. Affiliated with the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party, Opstelten also imposed many restrictions on the legal and regulated prostitution business in the Netherlands also driving a portion of that business underground.[6]

In the week after his resignation from office, he was interviewed about the increased use of heavy firearms by criminals. He said that maybe in the past firerarms didn't have the attention of the authorities, but now they rose to the challenge and he was on it. In reality he had quietly disbanded the task force on heavy weapons two months earlier.[7]

Resignation from office[edit]

On March 10, 2015, Opstelten, along with State Secretary Fred Teeven resigned after it was discovered that Teeven, then chief public prosecutor authorized the return of 4.7 million guilders to convicted drugs dealer Cees H. in 2000, without the knowledge of his superior or the tax office.

Throughout 2014, questions had been asked about this drugs deal. Opstelten consistently told parliament that the deal was for 2 million guilders and that they should trust him on that. On March 4, news show Nieuwsuur uncovered evidence that it was actually 4.7 million guilders. Cees H. confirmed this and stated that he did not do the justice department any favor in return, such as testifying. During a press conference on March 9, Opstelten admitted that convicted drugs baron Cees H. had been paid 4.7 million guilders, not the two million guilders he had consistently told parliament.[8] The next day he resigned. Other politicians were disappointed that he left many questions unanswered by resigning, such as how he could not know the amount despite the deal being orchestrated by his own deputy minister and why the tax service was not involved in the deal.[9]

Preceding the affair which resulted in his resignation, Opstelten was already often accused of not knowing the facts during debates and having difficulty finding words in other cases.[10]

Personal[edit]

Ivo Opstelten is married to Mariette Dutilh and they have four children.

Decorations[edit]

National honours
Ribbon bar Honour Date & Comment
NLD Order of Orange-Nassau - Officer BAR.png Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau 29 April 2004

References[edit]

  1. ^ (Dutch) Ivo Opstelten interim-burgemeester Tilburg, NOS, 4 November 2009
  2. ^ (Dutch) Ivo Opstelten benoemd tot informateur, NRC, 5 August 2010
  3. ^ (Dutch) Koningin benoemt Tjeenk Willink weer tot informateur, Elsevier, 7 September 2010
  4. ^ (Dutch) De complete persconferentie van informateur Opstelten, NOS, 13 September 2010
  5. ^ (Dutch) Ivo Opstelten (VVD) over zijn ministerspost, NOS, 8 October 2010
  6. ^ (English) Dutch justice minister, deputy resign over drugs dealer cash deal, DutchNews, 9 March 2015
  7. ^ "On firearms in The Netherlands, segment on Opstelten starts around 21:10". NPO. Brandpunt. Retrieved 16 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "Timeline Exit Opstelten". Nos.nl. NOS. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "Parliament Understands Deal". Nos.nl. NOS. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "Nieuwsuur Mar 10 (section about Opstelten not knowing the facts is at 16:00)". Nos.nl. NOS. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 

External links[edit]

Official
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jan van Zanen
Party chair of the People's
Party for Freedom and Democracy

2008–2010
Succeeded by
Benk Korthals
Government offices
Preceded by
Ernst Hirsch Ballin
Minister of Security and Justice of the Netherlands
2010–2015
Succeeded by
Stef Blok
Political offices
Preceded by
Frits Fontein
Mayor of Dalen
1972–1977
Succeeded by
Joost Hoffscholte
Preceded by
Anton van Harinxma thoe Slooten
Mayor of Doorn
1977–1980
Succeeded by
Henk Goudsmit
Preceded by
Paul Scholten
Mayor of Delfzijl
1980–1987
Succeeded by
Ed Haaksman
Preceded by
Hanneke Jagersma
Acting Mayor of Beerta
1983–1984
Succeeded by
Hanneke Jagersma
Preceded by
Lien Vos-van Gortel
Mayor of Utrecht
1992–1999
Succeeded by
Annie Brouwer-Korf
Preceded by
Bram Peper
Mayor of Rotterdam
1999–2009
Succeeded by
Ahmed Aboutaleb
Preceded by
Ruud Vreeman
Acting Mayor of Tilburg
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Peter Noordanus