King Willem-Alexander visited Rotterdam on Monday evening. He spoke with Rotterdam aid workers who were present at the riots in Rotterdam Centre last Friday. He also spoke with affected business owners and employees of the City Management Department.
For those who missed it completely: last Friday evening hundreds of rioters revolted against the police. On the Coolsingel and the area around it a lot of fireworks were set off, cars were set on fire and windows were destroyed. Rotterdam emergency workers, such as police officers, riot police and firefighters were pelted with fireworks and stones.
King Willem-Alexander was welcomed at the city hall by Mayor Aboutaleb. During his visit, he expressed his appreciation for the efforts of the Rotterdam aid workers and showed his compassion for the affected business owners. The aid workers and business owners were also given the opportunity to tell their own story, with the king offering a listening ear.
One of the business owners affected is Corine Wiedouw of Raoul Lunch & Dinner. The king, together with mayor Aboutaleb and Dominique of UDSRotterdam, talked to her. The restaurant owner saw how her own restaurant was demolished during the riots via a livestream.
Employees of the City Management Department, who were deployed for repair and clean-up work after the riots, also got the chance to talk to the king. Because, in addition to the respect and appreciation for all the emergency services who were present, we are all very happy with the employees of Stadsbeheer who swept the city clean in the middle of the night.
We have a typical Rotterdam saying that goes: niet lullen, maar poetsen, which literally means don't talk bullshit, but just clean.
The Erasmus Bridge and the Hofplein fountain are illuminated in red/blue today to show support for the Rotterdam emergency services. Alderman Vincent Karremans: 'We owe a lot of thanks and appreciation to our emergency services who were on the front line for society last Friday. Rotterdam stands right behind them.'