Netherlands. According to
countryaah, the two-and-a-half-year-old bourgeois
minority government resigned in April, after Geert Wilders
and his right-wing populist Freedom Party (PVV) withdrew
their support. The reason was that PVV did not want to
support budget cuts of EUR 16 billion by 2017, which were
required for the Netherlands to live up to the EU's limited
New elections were announced in September. The election
campaign focused on the economic crisis in the EU. The
results showed unexpectedly strong support for EU-friendly
parties: the right-wing Liberal People's Party for Freedom
and Democracy (VVD), which was the largest in the outgoing
government, further strengthened its position and the Social
Democratic Labor Party (PvdA) also increased and remained
second largest in Parliament.
For the parties on the outer edges, things went worse.
The EU-critical and pre-successful Socialist Party (SP)
received unchanged mandates, while the xenophobic PVV lost a
third of its electoral support and of its seats in
Parliament. The VVD's former coalition partner, Christian
Democratic Call (CDA), also lost support.
The election results led the Netherlands to a
block-crossed majority government with liberals and social
democrats in early November. The CEO's Mark Rutte returned
as prime minister. The new government had a stronger mandate
to pursue a strict austerity policy with hopes of thus
steering the country out of the financial crisis. The
challenges were great; At about the same time as the
government took office, reports that the Dutch economy had
shrunk by 1.1% in the third quarter. This was the biggest
decline among euro area countries.
In April, a court approved the government's plan to ban
the sale of marijuana to foreign tourists. Stores in the
border areas were thus obliged to register their customers
in order to prevent so-called drug tourism.
The Hague, Dutch The Hague (short form of the official name
's-Gravenhage,' the fence of the count '), capital of the province of
Zuid-Holland, The Netherlands; 515,000 residents (2015). The Hague is located in
the Randstad area, and within its metropolitan area there are several rapidly
growing satellite cities, such as Leidschendam, Rijswijk, Voorburg, Wassenaar
and Zoetermeer. The city is the seat of the Dutch government and parliament as
well as the head of state (constitutional capital is Amsterdam, however). The
city also has the International Court of Justice (The Hague Court) and the
International Criminal Court (ICC). The Hague is also an important commercial
and financial city, a leading congress and conference center and an
international center for art trade. Royal Dutch / Shell and several other oil
companies have their headquarters in the city. The Hague has almost no heavy
industry; About 75 percent of the employed work in the service sector, primarily
in the administration. In The Hague there are a number of cultural institutions,
for example. the Royal Library (1798),
The oldest parts of The Hague have a medieval town plan, while newer parts
have wide avenues and magnificent patrician buildings. Older buildings include
the Gevangenpoort gate tower from the 1300s and the Gothic church Grote Kerk.
Famous is the Palladian castle Mauritshuis (now a museum with a famous
collection of older, especially Dutch painting) from 1633 by Jacob van Campen.
In The Hague there are also several of the most prominent functionalist
buildings in the Netherlands, for example. HP Berlin building for the
Gemeentemuseum (1935) which contains 19th and 20th century art from the
so-called The Hague School.
The history of The Hague dates back to the 13th century, when the Countess of
Holland built a hunting castle on the site. The Hague eventually became the
county's main residence but lost in importance during the Burgundian and Spanish
times, when the administration of the Netherlands was primarily managed from the
southern provinces. In connection with the revolt against the Spaniards, The
Hague from 1580, as in the 17th and 18th centuries, was one of Europe's
diplomatic centers without formally having city rights until 1811. As king of
the Netherlands, Louis Bonaparte moved the seat of government to Amsterdam in
1808, but from 1913 the Hague was again the seat of the Dutch government.
Notable peace conferences were held in the city in 1899 and 1907, and from 1922
The Hague became the seat of an international court (from 1945 to 46 the
international court). During the Second World War, The Hague was damaged.