Oh, a wonderful and embarrassing connection. Eveline Herfkens is a PvdA politician, who is now stationed at the UN. Most elements of the story are in Wikipedia, but let me give you a quick rundown. She insists she needs to fly business class, even if that is not allowed for her function. She applied for (and received) a $7.000 a month rental allowance for her upper class Manhattan apartment “to avoid traveling by subway”, a subsidy not allowed by UN rules to insure independence of the home country. She applied for a US permanent residence permit, which is also not allowed. To add insult to injury she defended her behavior by stating “this discussion was Dutch small mindedness”, “she didn’t have time to go through all the minute rules” and “deserves these incentives connected to such a job profile”. For the record, her salary is way over $200.000.

Her own party is fed up with what one member of parliament called “Diva behavior”. I am pretty sure, and I hope, the bell for her last round has sounded. She has damaged the U.N., my country, her party and the taxpayers. Begone!!

Disclaimer: “PvdA”, which is considered here a mildly leftish social democratic party, often gets my vote. I am not a member.

Added: Foreign ministry is investigating a claim to have her hand back the quarter million she received against the rules, at the same time admitting they should never have given her that rental allowance in the first place. Party leader drops support. She is said not to respond to call for comments.

Added Feb 22nd: By Dutch law, she is not to return the $280,000, based on the principle of security of law, meaning in this context like you cannot suddenly withdraw something that was legally supplied; the subsidy was allowed by Dutch law, simply not by UN rules. The UNDP is still investigating if she knew this was against the rules (which she denies), and if so, the decision to not to have her return the loot will be “re-evaluated”. I won’t hold my breath on it.