Today: Wednesday, 21 February 2024 year

Dutch prime minister caught in scandal over old Nokia phone

Dutch prime minister caught in scandal over old Nokia phone

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is at the center of a controversy over years of deleting text messages from his mobile phone.

Among the deleted texts was a message from Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsem about a Black Lives Matter protest in June 2020 that saw attendance ten times higher than expected, and a message from Unilever CEO Paul Polman about a controversial tax issue.

This incident was the subject of discussion in the Dutch Parliament. Rutte was accused of violating the data archiving law. Also, opposition representatives said that the use of an old model phone, and the prime minister used a Nokia 301 phone, could threaten state security.

Rutte said that he deleted the messages solely because of the lack of memory in the phone, and sent the important ones to the state archive.

“It appears that the memory of the Prime Minister’s phone is being used as selectively as his own memory,” Labor Party leader Attier Kuiken said.

According to the media, the Dutch prime minister has been using a Nokia 301 push-button phone for many years, although he has an iPhone, on which Rutte, according to him, only reads the news. During a debate in Parliament, he called his smartphone “bulky” and “ugly”.

The press service of the Dutch government said that Rutte now has a new phone, he switched to it not because of the scandal, but because the previous one stopped working during a recent trip to the United States.