Visiting Jeroen Dijsselbloem: ‘My mother did not believe it’

Eindhoven gets a mayor who will soon be cycling through the city. Someone who talks about ‘our mother’ and who will follow the matches at the PSV stadium. And meanwhile, he is appealing to his contacts in The Hague and Brussels to release millions to Brainport. Reporter Rogier van Son visited the new mayor of Eindhoven: Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem’s house is located in the middle of nature in Wageningen. He lives there with his wife. Their two sons have left home. No doorbell here, but an old-fashioned knock to indicate you are there.

“We are looking for a nice house with a garden, because we have a dog.”

They must move to Eindhoven within a year. “We have already been secretly looking at Funda. A little expectation. We are looking for a nice house with a garden, because we have a dog. ”

He quickly cleans up the breakfast plates with his wife, and then we can film inside. “Welcome, do you want coffee?”, He asks hospitably. Dijsselbloem looks relaxed. The excitement is gone. For on Tuesday, he finally got clarity after the city council elected him. “The last hour you are in uncertainty. What will happen? I really had no idea. ”

Eindhoven expressed in advance a preference for a woman. It became a man. “My 89-year-old mother said, ‘It’s going to be a woman. Forget it.’ “She was gloomy about it. I said I would try it anyway because I really wanted to. In the end, it is up to the council to weigh it.”

His goal is to sit for two terms, twelve years in total. “You need time to really get to know the city.”

“It’s a new role for me. There’s no instruction book.”

As finance minister, he could look strict, the chairman of the confidentiality committee said Tuesday. This morning, Dijsselbloem laughs out loud. “Everyone always wants more money from the finance minister. Then you also have to be strict. Then you get the image of strict and serious. ”

As mayor, he wants to be close to the people. “After all, the mayor is the one people know best, or hopefully the first to address.” He does not yet know how he will become so accommodating.

Dijsselbloem has never been mayor before. “It’s a new role for me. There’s no instruction book. It’s important that you include space in your agenda so that it is not linked to administrative meetings.”

“I was in the boys’ ranks at PSV, five guilders for a ticket.”

Where the current mayor John Jorritsma sometimes got an official car to drive over the bus lane to get somewhere faster, Dijsselbloem will soon prefer to cycle through the city by bike. “It works wonderfully for me. I worked in The Hague for a long time. I have to travel a lot on the train and in the car to work. For the first time, I live right at work now.”

Dijsselbloem returns to the city where he was born and where he lived for much of his childhood. His father worked at a high school in Eindhoven.

Dijsselbloem went to a school on the other side of town because ‘my father did not want his own children in school’. During this period he began to visit PSV matches. “I was in the boys’ row. It was five guilders for a ticket in the corner of the stadium.”

“My mother lives in Son. We get there a lot.”

At the age of nineteen he went to study in Wageningen, and he still lives there. He has not forgotten Eindhoven in all these years. “My family lives in and around Eindhoven. My mother lives in Son. We get there a lot. ”

All the years he was away from his city, he had to have something tangible with him. It turned into a miniature car with the PSV logo on it. “I’ve had this with me all my life. It was also on my desk in the Ministry of Finance. I’ve been a PSV fan all my life. I had some time to go to PSV. That way the club was always present. ” As mayor, he will definitely visit competitions again soon.

There is a knock on the door. A flower from Mayor John Jorritsma and his wife. Dijsselbloem also receives many text messages from friends who send him courses in Brabant. “My wife thinks it will come back very soon when we live in Eindhoven. Goodbye! See you in Eindhoven.”

Tuesday 13 September is Dijsselbloem’s first day as mayor of Eindhoven.

This little car was always on Dijsselbloem's desk (photo: Rogier van Son).
This little car was always on Dijsselbloem’s desk (photo: Rogier van Son).

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