Rutte: “Qatar, we have a problem”

– Hello? Am I speaking to the emir of Qatar?
– Yes.
– This is premier Mark Rutte speaking from the Netherlands. My minister of foreign affairs Frans Timmermans is also present. How are you, your eminence?
– Very well, thank you. What can I do for you?
– It’s about the World Cup Soccer that will be held in your lovely country Qatar.
– Yes?
– As you may well know, the Olympic Winter Games are currently held in Sochi?
– Of course I know. President Poetin and I are close friends. He predicted you would call.
– I will speak to president Poetin tomorrow. It’s complicated. The Dutch parliament is very concerned about the human rights in Russia. After the Winter Games I expect difficult political questions about Qatar.
– Solve it. Get rid of your parliament. What’s the problem?
– That is not possible, I am afraid.
– Why not? Qatar has no parliament and no political parties.
– Pardon?
– I am the king. I rule.
– Oh… oh… I see… One moment. I will call you back. [2 uur later] Your eminence, might it be possible to implement small changes towards a democracy in your country?
– No. Of course not. I am the king. I rule.
– Oh… One moment please… I will call you back [4 uur later] Your eminence, the Dutch government is convinced you love your people dearly and only want the best for your country. That would be the most important.
– Thank you. Any more questions?
– Yes, the Dutch parliament is a little bit concerned about the human rights of African construction workers. Word has come to us that many of them die while building the soccer stadiums. More than 200 already. Amnesty International is talking about slave-like conditions.
– I see. Well, I can assure you, their positions will greatly improve.
– Yes? Really?
– Of course. I promise. You will never hear from them again. Oké?
– Oh, that would be great! Frans, hoor je dat? Verbeteringen! Thank you, I will tell that to the people in Holland.
– You are welcome.
– One last question, your eminence. How about homosexuals in Qatar?
– Homosexuals in Qatar?
– Yes. How about their rights? No awkward laws?
– Aha, colleague Poetin already told me you would come up with this question. I can assure you: there are no homosexuals in Qatar.
– No homosexuals in Qatar? Not even one?
– No. Not even one. Never been. And never will be.
– Oh! That is such a relief. Thank you! Frans! Hoor je dat? Geen homo’s in Qatar!

Luuk Koelman
Luuk Koelman

Columnist (o.a. voor Nieuwe Revu), ghostwriter en schrijfcoach. Hij werkt voor mensen die graag schrijven én voor mensen die liever niet schrijven.

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