Stef Blok

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Person.png Stef Blok   WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(politician, banker)
Stef Blok.jpg
BornStephanus Abraham Blok
10 December 1964
Emmeloord
NationalityDutch
Alma materUniversity of Groningen
PartyVVD
Banker and parliamentary leader of Mark Rutte's VVD party from 2010 to 2012. Dutch Minister for Housing and the Central Government Sector in second Rutte-cabinet. Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs in third Rutte coalition.

Employment.png Netherlands/Minister of Foreign Affairs

In office
7 March 2018 - 25 May 2021
Preceded bySigrid Kaag

Stef Blok is a Dutch politician and former parliamentary leader of the VVD party. Blok was asked to come back to politics as Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs in the third Rutte cabinet in 2017.

Career

Blok studied business administration at the University of Groningen and was the leader of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy in the Dutch House of Representatives during Mark Rutte's first cabinet. Blok became trainee at Société Générale and subsequently became a manager at ABN-AMRO in 1988, becoming Vice-President of Corporate banking in 1998, joining the political party of Mark Rutte, Frits Bolkestein and Geert Wilders in 2002.

Syrian NLA Program

Nieuwsuur revealed on the 10th of August 2018 that the Dutch were actively supporting "rebel groups in Syria the Dutch government has declared at least one a terrorist organization" at least since 2015 in the form of outfits (not declared with what purpose) and pick-up trucks in a "counter-terrorism" program for "non-lethal assistance". Nieuwsuur decided to publish their investigation after the Dutch Public Prosecutor was trying to sentence a man that had fought for one of these groups. Nieuwsuur actually put the Dutch narrative of "only supporting moderate opposition groups" into question as every group was entangled with a more violent one. The research found several to this day classified documents with over 100 rebels and at least 6 groups receiving Dutch support including satellite-phones, laptops, mattresses, backpacks and camera's with the help of Turkish company Condor and Washington D.C based company Creative Associates.[1] Dutch Ministers Stef Blok and Sigrid Kaag send a letter to parliament announcing the end of the program, explaining a lack of oversight and the letting go of the idea that Bashar al-Assad would be overthrown. Several other incidents were noted to be part of the decisions including 1000s of food supplies that "got in the hands of Al-Qaida", with Bert Koenders lying again how those "incidents" ended or if weapons were indeed part of the deal as one group was seen filming placing machine guns on their Dutch-funded Toyota fueling questions what the operations actually included.[2]

In 2020 Nieuwsuur reported Mark Rutte had stopped the internal investigation - and urged all coalition partners to support him - with most declassified documents all "blacked out". Stef Blok urgently called to halt any investigation as "a lot of classified information would be uncovered." Nieuwsuur didn't ask the MPs who did receive the classified information along with an NDA why this operation was hit with so much secrecy just now although the instigation started in 2018. [3] After being confronted with a family member of a group targeted by a Syrian "opposition group" and Kaag being questioned why she also - in the relatively short term - as Foreign Minister signed off on new programs and groups, Kaag blamed time constraints and not knowing the history of the program along with "need-to-know" language ("These were cases that needed to be discussed internally"), seemingly not explaining why such a large and important program so important that Mark Rutte has tried to cover and block any investigation into it for 2 years now[4] . Not completely surprising as Kaag and her D66 party blocked the request for parliamentary investigations at first on the request on Rutte.[5]

Kaag, Blok, and Rutte (who had no memory of the program until his obstruction of justice was revealed) kept denying to be able to halt the program any earlier on and remarking - just like Ank Bijleveld in the 2015 Hawija bombing - and all sort of less concluded explained separately that the Dutch just have no leads themselves, "always needing to rely on second or third-hand info", something disproved by former Chief Prosecutor of two United Nations international criminal law tribunals Carla Del Ponte.

“All parties involved in the conflict are committing crimes. The Netherlands knows that the opposition is committing war crimes. We already wrote that starting in 2013. In fact Karel van Oostrom knew precisely what was written in the reports. He even knew all the details. The Dutch have enough people and info from intelligence agencies. And especially the Dutch and all the other EU countries, because they share all that info. They knew exactly what was happening. (...) Throughout investigation is needed. Not only the Dutch but other nation states supported the Syrian war. Therefore they could be complicit in committing war crimes.”
Carla Del Ponte (12-09-2018)  [6]

Immigration

Blok has a quite soft-spoken demeanor, which doesn't hold up well in secretly recorded lectures he gives. Blok has suggested some countries not be able to govern themselves because of their "genetic make-up".

Suriname

Regarding the failure to convict former dictator Desi Bouterse, Blok concluded the following;

“Give me one example of a multi-ethnic or multicultural society, where the original inhabitants are still living... and where they live in coexistence. I can't think of one. Don't say Australia or the US as the natives there have been exterminated.”
Stef Blok (2018)  [7]

Surinam is a failed state. And that has a severe connection with ethnic division. You quickly discover what the limits are of what a society can handle.”
Stef Blok (2018)  [7]

Singapore

Blok made these regards in an argument to support tougher stances on immigration.

Singapore is indeed a small mini-country, extremely selective in their migration.... they don't allow poor migrants in. Yes, maybe for cleaning.”
Stef Blok (2018)  [7]

“I don't think you'll ever be able to centrally organize the EU countries accepting refugees in equal amounts. Eastern-Europeans would never agree to that. Even if we would force them, hands on their back and they'd say "yes", even then, walk a week through Warsaw or Prague. There are no colored people there. They would be gone within a week. They would be literally beaten up. They don't have a life there.”
Stef Blok (2018)  [7]

Deep connections?

Blok was selected as Designated Survivor in 2019 during the yearly Prinsjesdag, a similar Dutch version of the State of the Union.



References