In recent weeks there have been rumours in Brussels circles saying that Neelie Kroes, Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, might become the next Prime Minister of the Netherlands, should her party, the VVD, come first in the elections.
Yesterday it was election day in the Netherlands, and a long one at that, as initial results showed such a thin difference between the centre-right VVD and the centre-left PvdA that neither side could claim victory until very late into the night. In the end, Kroes’s party emerged as the winner of the elections. So when I went this morning to a conference where Neelie Kroes was supposed to be speaking at 9:30, I thought she might not show up at all.
But she did. And she started her speech clearing out any doubt about her future. She said that although she could get any job she wanted at the moment, she would stay at the Digital Agenda portfolio as this is, according to her, the best job she could ever get. She looked sincere, but you never know with politics. Government coalition building can take months in the Netherlands, and politicians are known for easily changing their minds. Surprises might still happen.