Dutch culture is world famous especially for
its painters. Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel the
Elder, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt and Jan Vermeer are
some well-known names from the 16th and 16th centuries.
In recent centuries, names like Vincent van Gogh, Piet
Mondriaan and Karel Appel and Constant Nieuwenhuys
within the avant-garde group Cobra have become known.
Older Dutch art is found mainly at the Rijksmuseum in
Amsterdam. Modern Dutch art can be seen at the Stedelijk
Museum, also in Amsterdam.
Latest population statistics of Netherlands, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
Among the big names in Dutch literature are the 16th
century writer and the humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam, as
well as the founder of international law Hugo de Groot (Grotius)
and the philosopher Baruch Spinoza, both active in the
1600s. They wrote all their works in Latin.
The Dutch language began in the 11th century to be
used in knight novels, animal poetry and plays, and in
the 17th century it gained its place in literature
through, among others, Joost van der Vondel. A
well-known author from the 19th century is Multatuli
(pseudonym of Eduard Douwes Dekker) whose novel Max
Havelaar is critical of colonialism.
During the early 1900s, Simon Vestdijk and Hella
Haase were noticed. Recent writers include the
challenging Jan Wolkers, Harry Mulisch (who among other
things wrote The Discovery of Heaven), Adrien
van der Heijden, Anja Meulenbelt, Cees Nooteboom and the
popular Maarten 't Hart. The leading children's book
authors include Annie M Schmidt and Margriet Heymans and
in 2012 Guus Kuijer was awarded the Swedish Alma Award
for Astrid Lindgren's memory.
Dutch film has mainly made itself known for its
documentaries, but several feature films have also
attracted attention. In the late 1990s, two Dutch films
won Oscar for Best Foreign Film: Antonia's World
by Marleen Gorris in 1996 and the Character by
Mike van Diem in 1998. In 2006, Paul Verhoeven, who has
long worked in Hollywood, made his first Dutch film in
many years, Zwartboek (The black book). The
film had a major impact both at home and
Wilders accuses Rutte of discrimination
Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders appeals to prosecutors with a complaint
against Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who he believes has discriminated against the
Dutch people. Examples of this are, according to Wilders, that foreign investors
do not have to pay any tax on investments and that asylum seekers receive free
Rutte's new four-party government takes office
After 225 days of negotiations, the VVD, D66, CDA and CU embark on a
government cooperation. This is the third time Mark Rutte has become Prime
Minister. But the coalition is fragile, partly because the parties are far apart
in some issues, and partly because it only has a mandate overweight in
Negotiations on government clear
After a full 208 days, the party leaders of the VVD, D66 as well as the
Christian Democratic-oriented CDA and the Christian Union finally announce that
they have agreed to form a joint government. However, the four parties have no
satisfactory majority in Parliament - only 76 out of 150 seats. Mark Rutte will
continue as prime minister in the new government.
Defense Minister resigns
An official report is released about an accident last year in Mali when two
Dutch soldiers were killed and one seriously injured after a grenade suddenly
exploded. In the report of the Security Board (OVV), criticism is directed at
the Department of Defense for the fact that the grenades came from a warehouse
with older grenades purchased from the US Pentagon and that the guidelines that
apply to arms purchases have been violated. After the report, Defense Minister
Jeanine Hennis decides to leave her post.
The king declares support for hurricane-stricken islands
No new government after the March elections has yet to be formed when the
Dutch king Willem-Alexander opens parliament. The King promises that the Dutch
territories, Sint Maarten, Saba, Sint Eustatius, who were hit hard by Hurricane
Irma in early September will receive help with the reconstruction.
The Government of Routes sets a record
20th of August
The outgoing government under Prime Minister Mark Rutte has now been in power
longer than any other government in the country since the Second World War. It
has now ruled for 1,749 days, which is longer than Ruud Lubber's government in
1989-1994. The record is due to the difficulties of forming a coalition
government after the March elections. Negotiations are currently in progress
between the VVD, CDA, D66 and the Christian Union.
Poison scandal hits the egg industry
Once traces of the toxic insecticide fipronil are detected in eggs, 180
chicken farms in the Netherlands are forced to close. A Dutch company is said to
have used the prohibited poison to fight lice in a wide range of chicken herds.
Several millions of eggs are removed from stores in the Netherlands and Germany.
The Netherlands is Europe's largest egg exporter, and about 65 percent of the
eggs are sold to other countries, including Germany. The cost of the closure,
lost revenue and measures to clean the plants is later estimated to be EUR 33
Established judgment on Srebrenica
An appeals court in The Hague upholds an earlier ruling in which a court
decided that the Netherlands should pay compensation to relatives of 350 Muslims
killed by Bosnian-Serbian troops at the Srebrenica massacre in 1995 (see
July 2014). The Dutch soldiers understood the risks that existed for
the Muslim men when they were separated from their families by Bosnian-Serbian
soldiers, according to the court. The Muslim refugees had sought protection from
the Dutch peacekeeping UN troops.
Parliament approves EU agreements
The Senate approves a revised agreement between the EU and Ukraine. The House
of Representatives has already accepted the agreement by a large majority in
February. Thus, the Parliament in the Netherlands has finally approved the
EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which thus appears to be in port. In a
referendum, the Netherlands voted against the EU's cooperation agreement with
Ukraine (see April 2016 and Foreign Policy and Defense).
The VVD wins the election
In the parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Mark Rutte's right-wing
Liberal Party VVD will be the largest with 33 seats. Geert Wilder's right-wing
populist PVV ranks second with 20 mandates, which is significantly less mandated
than opinion polls had predicted. The Christian Democrats CDA and Democrat '66
receive 19 seats each. The Green Left and the Socialist Party each receive 14
seats and Social Democratic Labor Party 9, while the Christian Union (CU) and
the Animal Rights Party Labor Party receive 5 each, while the remaining 12 seats
go to a further four small parties. The turnout is unusually high, 80 percent.
Trouble with Turkey
14th of March
A diplomatic quarrel erupts since Turkey's foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu
has been refused entry to attend a general election in Rotterdam. The Dutch
authorities are also stopping the election, which was planned by the Turkish
regime ahead of a referendum in Turkey in April to increase the president's
power. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wants to convince the many Turkish
citizens of the Netherlands to vote yes. However, the Dutch government does not
want to allow Turkish elections, citing the security situation in the country
ahead of the March 15 parliamentary elections. Erdoğan, who previously accused
the German authorities of behaving like Nazis, describes the Dutch government in
similar terms. When the Turkish family minister tries to get to Rotterdam to
meet Turkish citizens, she is expelled to Germany. Supporters of Erdoğan clash
with police outside the Turkish Consulate, but are driven off with the help of
water cannons and dogs. Turkey breaks diplomatic contacts at the top level with
the Netherlands and announces that the Dutch ambassador to Ankara, who is
temporarily on vacation, is not welcome back.
Jihadists can be deprived of citizenship
The Senate votes for people with dual citizenship to be deprived of their
Dutch passports if they are considered a risk to national security. The law can
be used against people who join terror groups such as IS or al-Qaeda, even if
they have not been convicted of any crime. In such cases, the Minister of
Justice is entitled to revoke Dutch citizenship without going through court. The
law is approved with the support of the government party VVD, the xenophobic
PVV, the Christian Democratic CDA, the fundamentalist Christian SGP and the
pensioner party 50+. The Labor Party, which is part of the government together
with the VVD, voted against the proposal already adopted in the Second Chamber.
The Minister of Justice resigns
Justice Minister Ard van der Steur leaves his post after being criticized for
his actions in connection with a hearing in Parliament on a scandal surrounding
a payment to a convicted drug dealer. van der Steur is the third member of the
Routes government to step down as a result of the scandal (see December
and March 2015).