The truth about Amsterdam

Amsterdam was recently given a bashing by the hectoring right-wing US news station, Fox News. The city was closing down cannabis selling coffee-shops and brothels because organised crime was taking over, according to Fox.

Two Republican politicians were shown condemning the city as a cess pool of corruption which was totally out of control.
The piece was no doubt sparked off by Amsterdam city council’s drive to close down businesses – coffee-shops and brothels included – whose owners are suspected of shady dealings.
For example, the city recently closed down one of its high-profile brothels, Yab Yum, because of alleged illegal practices. And it is taking tough measures against other businesses.
Organised crime is a problem for the capital and the Netherlands in general and seems to thrive on the opportunities offered by the decriminalisation of soft drugs, a liberal attitude to prostitution and the country’s position as a distribution hub for Europe.
So there is a grain of truth in the Fox News piece. But that’s about it. The tirades from the Republicans were as vicious as they were misinformed.
Fortunately, an Amsterdam firm has countered the vitriol with a fact-based video posted on You Tube () which has been picked up by bloggers and websites in the US.
Titled ‘The Truth About Amsterdam’ the film shows idyllic scenes of cyclists, friendly old people and fun-loving youngsters enjoying the sunshine while displaying some hard-hitting statistical comparisons between Amsterdam and the US.
The city has far fewer dope addicts, murders and drug-related deaths than the US.
It may be not as idyllic as the You tube video suggests, but Amsterdam is certainly a far more pleasant place to live than many an American city. It also has more accurate news reports!

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