Netherlands. It was a stormy year in the Netherlands, with the first political murder in modern history. According to Countryaah website, national day of Netherlands, is every July 26. Two governments resigned and the country was led by an expedition minister at the end of the year ahead of the planned new elections in January 2003.
In mid-April, Prime Minister Wim Kok left his post and his entire government followed suit. The cause was an official report that blamed Dutch UN soldiers for the massacre of Muslims in the Bosnian city of Srebrenica in 1995. However, the government continued as an interim government until the parliamentary elections a month later.
Already in connection with the municipal elections in March, it had become clear that the political map was being redrawn. A newly formed, anti-immigrant party led by the controversial Pim Fortuyn won in Rotterdam. He was negative mainly towards Muslims because he claimed that they threatened the traditionally tolerant society in the Netherlands. He himself was openly gay. Before the parliamentary elections, the party was renamed Lijst Pim Fortuyn (LPF) and this was strongly reflected in opinion polls. But May 6, just nine days before the election, Fortuyn was shot dead in the open street. The perpetrator was an animal rights activist who was arrested immediately.
The election was held as planned, despite the assassination. LPF became the second largest party, with 17% of the vote. The Christian Democratic CDA won by 28%. Kok’s workers’ party PvdA lost substantially and almost halved its mandate. After lengthy coalition negotiations, a right-wing government was formed in July with the CDA, the LPF and the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). Jan Peter Balkenende became prime minister. It became a short-lived government; after almost three months, it collapsed due to contradictions within the LPF. CDA and the VVD continued as the Ministry of Expedition.
In February, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander married Argentine Máxima Zorreguieta. There was some criticism when the bride’s father Jorge Zorreguieta had a past as minister during the military dictatorship in Argentina 1976-83. The father did not come to the wedding for security reasons.
The state replaces children of executed Indonesians
The government states that a lump sum of 5,000 euros will be paid in damages to children of all men who were executed during the colonial era in Indonesia in the late 1940s. The decision comes after an earlier announcement of compensation for widows and children of eleven men (see March 2020). At least 860 men are estimated to have been executed by execution patrols in Sulawesi, mainly between December 1946 and April 1947.
Stricter restrictions as infection increases
The government is tightening the restrictions due to the corona pandemic further, just a few weeks after the previous tightening. Now all bars, cafes and restaurants are closing. The sale of alcohol and cannabis will be banned after 8 pm. Mouth protection will be mandatory for everyone over 13 in public indoor environments. Already a few weeks ago, the rules were tightened with, among other things, restrictions on the number of visitors to the home and a return to sporting events without an audience. The practice of team sports for adults is now banned. The Netherlands has had less stringent measures than neighboring countries and has previously not ordered the use of mouth guards other than in public transport. But in the last two weeks, the number of new cases of infection per 100,000 inhabitants has been the third highest in Europe. The number of deaths in covid-19 amounts to just over 6,600.