A new wave of protests knocked the farmers off the front pages in November and December – climate change activists who took to ‘gluing’ themselves to tables and works of art, as well as tying themselves to private jets at Schiphol.
The Dutch also banned British conspiracy theorist David Icke from attending a protest in Amsterdam. Icke had been invited to speak by Samen voor Nederland which organised the demonstration, ostensibly to protest about the way the ‘interests of the Dutch people are being subjugated to the European dictatorship’.
The protest was supported by a number of conspiracy theorists, far right politicians and Covid-deniers and was formally cancelled by the organisers after Icke was refused entry. But hundreds of people held a rally anyway, without official permission.
A second survey, this one by the International Community Advisory Platform, highlighted the discrimination facing foreign workers. Many respondents also reported being treated differently and charged higher prices by service providers because they were foreign – particularly in terms of housing.
Nevertheless, the survey responses also show that international workers are keen to get to know their new country. Over four in five have had a weekend away somewhere else in the Netherlands, 72% have taken Dutch lessons and 53% have a Museumkaart.
In Europe, the Dutch decision to block Bulgaria’s accession to the Schengen open border area caused an outcry.
On the home front, Amsterdam city council finally published its plans to try to reduce the number of problematic tourists, including a ban on smoking cannabis on the street in tourist hot spots.
The plans also include earlier closing times for restaurants, bars and brothels in the red light district, and a public ‘stay away’ campaign to be launched in 2023 to counter low-grade tourism.
A cold snap brought some welcome outdoor skating while in Qatar, the Dutch football team were knocked out of the World Cup in the quarter finals. Dutch Moroccans, meanwhile, celebrated their own team’s record breaking performance.
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