By Peter Meller

According to the police, 10,000 people with torches demonstrated on Saturday evening in Groningen in the north of the country against government plans to increase gas extraction from a local field.

The centre of the provincial capital was lit up on Saturday evening by thousands of torches carried by residents who feel disrespected by the government in The Hague, according to media reports.

As the NOS website reports, the protesters say that the government had pledged to finish mining the deposit in 2022, due to frequent earthquakes in the area.

However, it now intends to double it.

A week ago, the cabinet announced that due to German demand for gas, it would be necessary to step up production at Groningerveld located near Groningen.

According to the reports sent to MPs, the production of 3.9 billion cubic metres was initially planned, but will now have to be increased to 7.6 billion.

NOS reports that the Netherlands has a long-term contract with Germany, which will only expire at the end of the decade.

Under this contract, the Netherlands is obliged to supply gas to around 5 million households in northern and western Germany.

On Wednesday, the provincial council objected to the additional extraction of the resource and demanded that the cabinet finally determine when exploitation of the field would end.