Mayor Marcouch strongly predicts 2023: ‘It’s storming and the flood is approaching’ [video]

Mayor Ahmed Marcouch of Arnhem calls for solidarity in his New Year’s speech. During the New Year meeting at the Eusebius Church, he outlined a difficult year ahead. “It’s storming and the tide is coming in,” Marcouch said.

By Aniek Beekman and Arjan Hoefakker – RTV Connect

The meeting last Friday in the Eusebius Church was attended by hundreds of people. Arnhem’s mayor gave a speech warning of an imminent flood. The mayor calls for solidarity. People who, despite working hard, can no longer pay their bills should get help. This can be inferred from Marcouch’s words.

Regional broadcaster RTV Connect asked the participants at the New Year’s reception about their interests and their reasons for attending the meeting. Journalists Aniek Beekman and Arjan Hoefakker also asked the members of the city council in Arnhem about their spearheads for 2023.

The entire speech from the mayor of Arnhem can be read below the video report



Dear people,

Thank you for being here, in our Eusebiuskerk, a model of resilience.

The strength that we also see in the Arnhem people.

Welcome on behalf of our city council.

We are gathered between heaven and earth, in the great realization that beneath our feet awaits the eternity of the past, and above us the tower points to an infinite future. On the horizon we see the Eusebius Tower from afar, a sign of homecoming as we approach Arnhem. Standing proud after all the damage. Like the Arnhems. It’s okay, in here with all of us. But outside, unfortunately, our country is in the harsh weather that tests our courage. In poor neighborhoods like those in Arnhem-East it had been buffalo for years, but since corona we have seen all the more how fear crept into the houses.

Many young people found themselves thrown back on themselves by closed schools, bleak about their future.
In their parents, they see the fear of the unimaginably rising prices of energy and food since the war in Ukraine. Many fear for their safety, people turn to the street and ask where the bunkers are in Arnhem. They fear for their children’s future, whether they will later be able to get food at an affordable price, clean water and enough energy.

But at the same time, we are the people who remain standing as the Eusebius Tower.
If we want to survive new attempts from 2022 in 2023, we need good state institutions which provides good education and fair jobs; for incomes that people can live on instead of worrying about benefits. Who is catching up with the housing shortage, with or without corporations; so that Marieke and Fatima don’t argue: ‘why does Samira get a house and Marieke doesn’t?’

I feel the sadness that Marieke has been forgotten, just as I used to sympathize with the Bible story of the prodigal son as a boy in class. He was given a party by his father when he came home with no money. The faithful eldest son then became jealous and angry: why didn’t he have a party? He who was always there!

I can well imagine how selfishness, mutual envy, racism and discrimination lurk in times of scarcity. But let us be aware that it is the precariousness of existence that causes this.

We gain certainty by standing shoulder to shoulder and lifting each other up. Polarization will not get rid of pandemics and wars, and selfishness will not save our climate. But with solidarity, we give our rising generation a future. So when we leave here later, let’s go back to the city and practice solidarity. To prove ourselves as administrators, entrepreneurs and residents. As teachers, artists, youth workers and other professionals.

Let’s make 2023 the year of solidarity. Right now, more than ever. Now it is storming and the tide is approaching. Emergency aid and supplements are like sandbags against the hole in the dike. Humiliating for those who work against the rocks and still lack salary every month.

Let’s build bridges and build locks. Our fear of existence disappears when social security comes. That’s how it will be for sure. This is how we flourish. Not in combat situations. This is how civilization is born.

Dear people,

I am extremely proud of how we are all taking care of the Ukrainians in Arnhem – they are here too – and other refugees. Solidarity can be learned. From our parents. And in Arnhem, as an educational district, we surround the parents with all educators, both teachers and youth workers and both street coaches and community police officers. Primarily to keep children away from criminals.

We are now at the next level: Educational district will be the place of education for a new generation that will grow up to become responsible citizens. We started in the neighborhoods with the greatest need: in addition to Malburgen, Geitenkamp and Klarendal, also Arnhemse Broek and Presikhaaf – all in Arnhem-East.

In the school subject of citizenship studies, solidarity is now the goal of the class, I was at Olympus College and experienced how the practical classes make students happy: Being meaningful by organizing food, clothes and energy for others.

But you know, solidarity is not possible without security of existence. Fear and stress paralyze everything. Look at the tiles here under our feet in the Eusebius Church. Suppose they were wobbly, floating ice flakes – then it would be impossible to sit, walk and jump, let alone dance together and lift each other up. Social Security is to our lives what the floor is to the church.

Pay for work, that’s what we need first here in Arnhem; Normal people with normal jobs should be able to live on that. Dear drivers in the Netherlands, come on; The first challenge in these trials lies before you.

Come to work for a happy new year!

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This content is created by media partners RTV Connect

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