Dutch want a strong leader, but are not protest voters: survey

Dutch want a strong leader, but are not protest voters: survey

The typical Dutchman or woman casts his or her vote more out of conviction than in protest, opting for a strong leader who plays within the rules, the Volkskrant said on Monday. The paper bases its claim on a large survey of voters registered in the Netherlands, Britain, France and Germany by Kanter Public, formerly known as TNS/Nipo. All were asked the same set of questions. The results: Germany is the least susceptible to populist movements, France and Britain the most. The Netherlands sits somewhere in between, the paper said. The British and the French are seeking a strong leader, even more so than the Dutch, but they have the least confidence in democracy, elections and political parties. The German stance is the opposite with Germans placing more trust in democratic institutions, trade unions and the European Union than individual people, the survey revealed. Some 67% of Dutch respondents said the country needs a strong leader to get things done, compared with just 24% of Germans. The researchers asked why people vote: because they agree with the ideas of a certain political party or out of frustration with the other parties? The Kantar report said 15% of the Dutch voted out of frustration and 21% did so in Britain. Figures were higher in France (37%) and Germany (41%). A minority (28% in the Netherlands, Britain and France) believe politicians are honest. But this figure was higher at 37% in Germany.  More >

Gay Pride becomes Pride Amsterdam

Dutch want a strong leader, but are not protest voters: survey The annual Gay Pride celebrations in Amsterdam every July and August are being rebranded Pride Amsterdam to become more inclusive, the organisers said at the weekend. The nine-day festival began as a gay event but has since expanded in scope to cover transgenders, bisexuals and others. 'We want everyone to identify with the programme,' a spokesman for Pride Amsterdam told the Parool. 'Lots of people don't know what you are talking about if you refer to LHBTI and there are all sorts of subgroups as well. We say just one letter is important, the 'p' for Pride.' The event kicks off on July 29 with a march from the Gay Monument next to the Westerkerk to the Vondelpark to raise awareness for the position of gay people in countries where homosexuality is a crime. The traditional boat parade, featuring 80 boats and floats, takes place on August 5. Find out more Editors note: we have closed comments on this article because of the abusive nature of much of the correspondence.  More >

Drugs problems top in Roosendaal, Limburg

Dutch want a strong leader, but are not protest voters: survey People living in the south of the Netherlands experience most problems with drugs and dealers, according to new research by national statistics office CBS. The CBS says over one in eight people living in the Noord-Brabant town of Roosendaal experience problems, making it the worst place in the country in terms of drugs nuisance. Roosendaal is followed by four towns in Limburg plus Rotterdam, in all of which around one in 10 residents aged 15 and over say drugs and dealers cause problems. The CBS polled locals in all towns with a population of 70,000 or more. Noord-Brabant and Limburg have proportionally more problems with drugs because they are popular with drugs tourists from Belgium and Germany. In 2009, Roosendaal and Bergen op Zoom closed all their cannabis cafes in an effort to stop drugs tourism but that has led to a surge in street dealing, critics say. The problem has also become worst in Sittard-Geleen since nearby Maastricht introduced a new get-tough policy on drugs tourism. Some 10% of Maastricht locals say drugs are a nuisance, compared with 20% three years ago. By contrast, complaints in Sittard-Geleen have doubled to 10% over the same period. In Amsterdam, 6.5% of people say drugs are a problem, compared with an average of 5% in larger towns nationwide. Check out your city on the interactive map.  More >

Rotterdam fishmonger has best herring

Dutch want a strong leader, but are not protest voters: survey Rotterdam fishmonger Ruud den Haan sells the best Dutch herring in the country, according to the annual herring test organised by the AD. Den Haan's herring took the maximum 10 points from the judges for their 'full, creamy and salty' taste. 'They are a prime example of everything that makes the Hollandse Nieuwe a real delicacy,' the judges said. Every year the AD checks the herring on sale at around 150 fishmongers throughout the country. This year, 48 scored an eight or more while 31 scored 2.5 or below. De Haan told the AD that he picks up his fish from the Scheveningen fish market at 5am four times a week. He also picks out the fish himself. The full list will be published in Saturday's AD. Eight key facts about Dutch herring  More >

Reduced jail for Dutchman jailed in China

Dutch want a strong leader, but are not protest voters: survey A Dutchman jailed for 12 years in China for killing a neighbour has had the sentence cut to 4.5 years on appeal, broadcaster NOS said on Friday. Harm Fitie has already served two years in jail after being found guilty of pushing his neighbour off the roof of their home. Fitie claims the man was drunk and lost his footing. The Chinese appeal court ruled that Fitie had a role in the death and the fact that he tried to resuscitate him was a sign of guilt and remorse. However the charge was reduced from manslaughter to negligence, resulting in the shorter sentence. Fitie's father, who was in court, said he was relieved the sentence has been cut but had hoped his son would be found not guilty. 'Of course it is a disappointment that someone who is clearly innocent is jailed for 4.5 years,' he said.   More >