The city of Amsterdam is in hot water with Geert Wilders, leader of the populist Freedom party. He has sharply criticised the city council’s decision to fly the European Union flag, calling it “utterly ridiculous”.
Mr Wilders even went so far as to pose a parliamentary question about the affair to outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Mr Rutte’s VVD party is a partner in the capital’s executive council, and Mr Wilders demanded that the prime minister call his political colleagues to order over the matter.
Mr Wilders incorrectly assumed that Amsterdam had decided to fly the EU flag instead of the Dutch flag. Normally only the city’s own flag is raised over the town hall. The Dutch flag is also raised on national holidays and to mark special occasions.
The council has now decided that on workdays the red, black and white crosses of Amsterdam’s flag will be joined by the blue and gold stars of the European Union. A spokesperson said the decision was taken “to express solidarity with Europe”.