“Most Dutch very negative about country”

RNW archive

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Between 75 and 80 percent of the Dutch are negative or even very negative about the country’s state of affairs, Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad writes.

Just seven percent of those interviewed are positive about the country’s political, social and economic state, the paper reports. On 11 April, before the government fell, the paper interviewed 503 people in a range of neighbourhoods across the country, the same where it conducted a similar survey ten years ago.

The worries people had ten years ago, the paper says, have become reality: health care costs more and offers less; real estate prices are lower while unemployment is higher; petrol is up, subsidies are down.

People were more negative the lower their incomes. Voters for the governing pro-business VVD party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte rate the outgoing government the highest. They give it 3.3 out of 5 points. Supporters of the coalition’s Christian Democrat junior partner give it a rating of 3. Supporters of Geert Wilders Freedom Party, which backed the minority cabinet for 18 months, give it 2.5 points.

Asked who should replace Mr Rutte as prime minister, most people choose  Socialist Party leader Emile Roemer, followed by Labour leader Diederik Samson. Both opposed the austerity package the caretaker cabinet reached with the D66, Christian Union and Green Left parties earlier this week.

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