For those who live in Europe, the name Mark Rutte doesn’t mean much, that is, they probably don’t know who it is, but it has to do with Saab cars. For those who don’t know who it is, here’s an explanation. Mark Rutte, 53 is the prime minister of the Netherlands and one of the longest-serving European leaders, believes in playing strictly by the rules.
Unlike most current populist politicians who hold power in countries across Europe, this Saab car lover loves to ride a bike (after all, like all Dutch people), pays his own bills and does not support privileges for politicians.
These days, even the New York Times, which published an article about him, was relevant and interesting again, on the occasion that his mother died during the COVID-19 virus pandemic, but he did not take advantage of the privileges and was not with her after her death. Only after the end of the lockdown did he say goodbye to her.
Mark Rutte and his Saabs
The New York Times just wrote: “He rides a bike to his office, or his old Saab (1999) parked under his apartment in the Hague block. He pays for his coffee and refuses any compensation for his own costs. At parties he plays among everyonen…” It may sound populist, but Mr. Mark Rutte is just like that, although he could buy any new car, there is a strong connection between him and Saab.
Prime Minister Rutte is sometimes mocked for his choice of car. Where other statesmen are often spotted in the latest BMW or Mercedes, the prime minister cannot yet relinquish his beloved second-hand car; a 1999 Saab 9-3. In addition to the older generation Saab 9-3, Mark also owns the newer Sportcombi, also a 2007 model 9-3.
Netherlands reluctantly introduces reduced speed limit – 100km/h
Last month, Mark Rutte was again in the center of attention of the Dutch media, and again regarding the car.
The speed limit on Dutch highways is down to 100 kilometers per hour — one of the lowest in all of Europe! A speed limit of 100 kph (62 mph) applies on highways across the country during the day. Between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., drivers can increase their speed up to 130 kph on designated sections of the road.
His party took a huge swing by lowering the acclaimed speed limit on the highways. Rutte called this a “rotten measure”, but says he strongly supports the decision. “Because this is better for the Netherlands.” He suffers that pain as a VVD party member, he says. “As a Saab driver, I think the hundred driving is also terrible, because it also achieves 130.”
And he suffers as party leader: “But if that measure is necessary to keep jobs, then a bad poll is not so important for the VVD. I also get the question: what do you get in return? What a terrible question in politics when trying to solve problems! It’s about helping people in the country move forward. ”
Mark Rutte and Gerard Joling did not agree on Wednesday evening about the reduction of the maximum speed to 100 kilometers per hour, so that cars emit less nitrogen. That was shown in the broadcast on NPO 1. Rutte remains behind his rot measure. “I like to keep driving, although I have an old Saab. It emits a lot, yes, sorry. That’s right. But it was the only measure that could solve 75,000 homes in the short term. ”