If necessary, the cabinet is prepared to enforce through the courts that the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM) compensates for all earthquake damage that victims claim from the company.

The ministries of Economic Affairs and the Interior reported this on Friday in response to statements by NAM CEO Johan Alema.

The director of NAM said in an interview with

NRC on


that after decades of gas drilling in Groningen he wants to be "generous" in paying out damage, but he also thinks that the government has raised unreasonable expectations among local residents.

Moreover, according to him, claims are coming in from areas that are not even within the quake area.

Atema said that the number of earthquakes has decreased because there is now less drilling in the area.

It would therefore no longer be necessary to investigate whether some thirteen thousand houses that still have to be inspected need reinforcements.

Calculations have shown that reinforcement is only needed for about fifty homes.

The ministries do not agree with that conclusion. They believe that each house should be examined separately before it is clear how many houses need reinforcement.