2022 in pictures: swimming, Schiphol and cannabis cafes

A crowded red light district alley. Photo: Sabine Joosten ANP
A crowded red light district alley. Photo: Sabine Joosten ANP

In June, the problems at Schiphol airport continued, with the airport authority preparing to cancel hundreds of flights because of the shortage of baggage and security staff.

Tour operator association ANVR said the cancellations would affect ‘several hundred thousand travellers’ and that those aiming to go away between mid July and mid August would be worst affected.

And there was bad news for those planning to holiday at home, after EU officials said the Netherlands had the lowest bathing water quality in western Europe. The proportion of Dutch lakes and rivers with poor water quality was above the EU average at 4.6% against 1.5%.

Meanwhile, the shortage of student accommodation led several Dutch universities warning international students to stay away unless they had a place to live.

Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema said she wanted to press ahead with banning tourists from the city’s coffee shops, or cannabis cafes, because it would cut back on crime. But Halsema also pledged not to press ahead with the plan without council support, because of the ‘major social and economic impact on the city’. In the event, councillors rejected the plan.

The number of hours worked by the Dutch also hit the headlines, with several commentators arguing that working as little as possible had almost become a national sport.

In a lengthy Twitter feed, CBS chief economist Pieter Hein van Mulligen showed that claims that the Netherlands has the shortest working week in Europe are not exaggerated and that productivity is not rising either.

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