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WELCOME to HOLLAND  

visiting, staying, studying and working in
the Netherlands
a worldwide service of

home   UNI-VERSUM.nl

  an eye on the Netherlands

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Dutch expat law

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Dutch proud:
Afsluitdijk (the Dyke)
75 years of age.  
In 2006 the Netherlands welcomed 11 mill. visitors, among which 2.5 mln Germans, 140.000 Chinese, 90.000 Russians, 45.000 Indians, 30.000 Brazilians, 1.000.000 Americans and tens of thousands of Japanese. In 2006 Amsterdam noted a record number of 8,5 mln hotel nightaccomodations (by a.o. popular Rembrandt year). In 2007 the Netherlands expect to welcome over 11.1 mln tourists, though 2008th expectations are lower because of the rising € (euro).  
In 2007 many high educated skilled labourers settled in the Netherlands and in September even over 6000 new fantastic foreign students began the extensive stydies at the several well known and sometimes specialized Dutch universities. Total foreign student population in these Low Lands in the meantime has attracted and grown to over 60.000 intelligent young people. Maybe they know the quality of Dutch drinking water is the worlds best. Since the euro is not cheap for Japanese, Canadian and American tourists less of them visited this country. But again many more then 11 mjn travellers visited these Low Lands among which over 1 mjn Belgians, a little less Englishmen and almost 3 mjn Germans. From Spain, Finland, Russia, China and India many experienced and appreciated the well known Dutch hospitality in 2007.
  Holland Art Cities succeeds
fabulous Rembrandt Year


2008, Henry Hudson year.
New Amsterdam - New York bridgeing 400 years   

 Like to visit one of these local tourist attractions ? ...
 Here you will find first hand info.
   Rembrandt at the moment
Amsterdam in pictures
  to read a good historical short story about 'Holland becoming a nation'.
Madurodam Volendam Keukenhof Aalsmeer Global Language Monitor (march '06) sais English knows one million words.
Dutch capital is Amsterdam, center of gouvernment is international town of The Haque.
Schiphol Scheveningen Edam Delft In the Netherlands you always tip the waitress. The tel. country code is 31. Schiphol is
the main airport next to Amsterdam. Rotterdam, Eindhoven and Maastricht have airports, too.
Delta Works The Hague Den Helder Gouda Thé national sport is football (soccer). The number of Dutch citizens counts 16 million,
mainly catholic and protestant, 30 thousand Jehovah's Witnesses and 1 million moslims.
Alkmaar Amsterdam Volendam Rotterdam The Netherlands is a kingdom that has a queen named Beatrix (70), she is a widdow.
The head of the constitutional monarchy Holland is the minister-president (prime minister).


    GeoURL      

Radio Netherlands internet
Find a Wi-Fi hotspot in Holland  

A customs overview of (allowed) travelbaggage
If your cash is over €10.000 you are adviced to inform custom officers.

TOURISM IS THE BIGGEST EMPLOYER IN THE WORLD.

In the Dutch economy tourists spendings play an important role.
Tourism and recreation support 440.000 jobs (=5% of total jobs)
and a yearly turnover of over $45 billion dollar.


Learn a bit of Dutch before going? Find your small guide & pronunciation at   Phrasebooks


THE LATEST NEWS
on Dutch immigration laws

When you intend to come and stay in the Netherlands as a newcomer, you are expected to assimilate or integrate in the Dutch community and to learn to live oneself in into the Dutch culture. In Dutch this is called 'inburgering', for which you have to take a citizenship test, an examination confirming you have a basic knowledge of Dutch, to understand and accept a bit of the history and culture, so society and work orientation, and especially but not least, sometimes to have learned to speak acceptable Dutch. Since March 15, 2006, non-western immigrants take this exam in their home land (Law Citizenship Abroad, WIB). Per Jan. 1st 2007 the general 'Inburgeringswet' ( point here ) is a legal demand for candidates (for an 'inburgeringsexamen' which consists of a hundred questions that can be learned by heart, f.i. Q: 'From which age an education is obligatory?", A: 'five years of age', but all in Dutch, of course). And even those who are already in the Netherlands have to pass this examination.

But if you are a top talented knowledgeble high aducated and developed or top skilled labourer now there is an easier way to become a (temporary) Dutch working citizen. In 2006 at least 3800 individuals made use of this opportunity to be alowed to work in Holland.
(In July '07 the EU decided to introduce a so called 'blue card' - in the US known as 'green card' - that authorizes owners and their families to live and work permanently in every country of the EU .)

Read more about it.

End 2007 the Dutch government expects to open a permanent facilitation at Schiphol Airport where all actions can be made by knowledge immigrants and businesses concerning settlement in the Netherlands. A starter in Holland now has te deal with only one information-office for everything at Schiphol Airport. It's named the Holland Gateway and situated in the World Trade Center.
Otherwise you will be expected to follow an "inburgerings cursus", a course or citizenship test, to learn to behave as a Dutch citizen. Sometimes this may cost money, but inform after this.
It is possible that you will meet with the "inburgeringstoets", a citizenship test. If you do not accept his formality, you'll risk a €500 fine.
If you are going to be an immigrant, it's often necessary to follow this course in your home land, before you come to the Netherlands.

Starting your own company in the Netherlands is no problem. Maybe you are the only hand in the company, so you become a so called ZZP'r (enterprise without personel). In eather ones you have to visit the local Chamber of Commerce to have your company registered. Also you are obliged to let (the Dutch IRS) Belastingdienst know what you are doing in order to be able to pay the correct taxes. Yes, this is the same all over the world.

DID YOU DO your paperwork?

Going abroad is one thing, but being allowed to stay here for a while or even find work or study in the Netherlands, is another thing. Shortly, one also needs papers.

Tourists need an identification card, or a passport and sometimes a visum. Even Dutch citizens over 14 years of age do need and carry an identification card by law.

As a tourist you need a good international accident/health insurance; if you migrate here you are obliged to have a health care package.

Future employees or students f.i. need a police and recidents permit, a work permit, a sofi-number (kind of social security #) and a Dutch address when intending to work or study in this country. Many times you are asked for a birth certificate, which will be supplied by the administration of your town of birth.

about visas read    here    and also read    here

about a Schengen Visum (Europe) click here. End 2007 the number of Schengen countries were increased by eight nations in eastern Europe and Malta. For Serbs now it's become troublesome to get a visum for Europe, but Servian students, researchers, salesmen and journalists are allowed. In 2008 also Zwitserland became a member, though this was more or less a symbolic gesture. It totals 25 countries. In 2009 Rumania, Cypres, Bulgaria and giant Liechtenstein ;-) will be welcomed. Schengen garanties free traffic for its citizens within the European zone. So if you, from outside Europe, get a (Schengen-)citizen as your partner, you are legally allowed to come to and live in Holland. This is called the U-curve enabling one to become a Dutch citizen despite of everything.

     about living and working over here  


Seven main worries of the Dutch in 2007:

Environment and climat    18%
Safety worldwide    17%
Quality of healthcare    16%
Safety in the Netherlands    12%
Poverty    11%
Quality of education    9%
Integration    6%


latest news

the Hague, Nov. '08

Polical freedom in the Netherlands
Of all people in the world Dutchmen enjoy the greatest political freedom. This is f.i. proven by a liberal and progressive legislation in the field of euthanasia and the country's behavior on drugs. Also the Netherlands are a beloved destination to go to because visitors easily can come and go around in the country and also can easily leave. This is found by the Country Brand Index that is examining countries as a trade mark.

The fall of Belgium
Only in Belgium (western) politics are still doing worse. According to the Belgian Mr. Valkeniers the conclusian in Jan. '08 is that 'within 15 years Belgium does not exist any longer.' And he blames the import of southern foreigners for this extraordinary expression. In the Netherlands the opinion is softer, but the building of (giant) mosks is going to be unacceptable at all.

Once there was a king who asked the elderly what to do given the circumstances. They adviced him to say nice words to the people to keep in power.
After that he also asked the younger advisors what to do. And their's he liked better, but his people did not acknowlidge this and got angry, because the king made the burden on the people even higher.
But later on he had to admit he better had listened to the advice of the elderlies.

May this be a suggestion to the American people. (1 K. 12:7-19)

more news go bottom.

BEFORE ...

To be able to plan your visit to the Netherlands, we here present Dutch sites and destinations on the internet that give necessary information in English. Some times you have to choose your language. Also you can look here to find sites and monuments you are interested in.

If you are already (illegaly) in Holland you can meet with the "PARDON REGELING or GENERAL AMNISTY REGULATION". Some 30.000 illegal foreigners can be pardoned by the ministry of justice (department IND) and still get a Dutch citizenship certificate or (conditional) residence permit. To learn more about this click on this spot to learn more.

En cas que vous êtes en Hollande déjà mais illégalement, c'est possible que vous êtes compté par la nouvelle loi "PARDON REGELING ou RÉGLEMENTATION AMNESTIE". En ce cas vous êtes pardonné et plus ou moins 30.000 personnes qui se trouvent en Hollande illégalement sont encore accepté comme citoyen hollandais. Plus d'information sur ce sujet à la page prochaine.

Wether you come to Holland for migrating, business, holidays or its amazements, have a look at this page before you go, for then you know where you are going to and what to expect. If you cannot find what you are looking for, you might see down below. And when you come over, enjoy a rich experience and keep in mind the time difference.

A WARNING to migrants

In the Netherlands it is a fact and open knowledge that (im)migrants almost do not know anything about their lawful rights, nor about their (also lawful) duties, nor can find their way in social security services, etc. This makes it very difficult for them to become part of the Dutch society in a way they are able to act, handle and live as they are supposed to do and is even demanded. F.i., many forget to request child benefit. And also, if one starts working in this country in ones thirties or fourties, one does not pay long enough to build up a full elderly pension (AOW). So when one will stop working at the age of 65 the elderly pension will be very low, and one needs to ask for an extra (also low) social beneficial assistance payment (bijstandsuitkering), which altogether does mean a much lower living standard. There is a legal solution to solve this problem, though.



Notice our don't forget things for tourists
show list

 

Zoom in here on the Dutch road map

       or need a cab or even a limo ?          The weather(rain forcast) in this region at the moment.





WAARUOOKBENT


WHEREVERYOUARE


PARTOUTOUVOUSETES


WOSIEAUCHSIND






TO READ TO KNOW:

an overview of parking costs


voyagers and etiquette


know 560 airports/airlines


hotel fitness utilities


know where is what to do


nice meals on board


for the best seat on board


learn to avoid a jetlag


Convert your currancy to euros  

If interested pay a visit to the

Dutch National Bank,

the financial stabilizer.


STOCKS
In the Netherlands the main industrial index is the AEX (stock indices - trade prices - of 25 most traded Dutch industrial shares) of NYSE-Euronext, also called Amsterdam, Beursplein 5, Damrak or simply the main shares traded. Second 25 industrial indices form the AMX, and the third 25 are integrated in the AScX.

One can buy and trade shares via a (Dutch) bankaccount or an account at a (Dutch) internet broker.

On January 1, 2008 the so called Single European Paymant Area (SEPA) will have a start, but standard local paying systems still keep working for a while. This means, f.i., that one can use its own bank card and PIN - or other type - in his own country, but needs a new one to pay everywhere else in the eurozone. Visa and Mastercards can be used in the eurozone for the very zone (almost all the EU-members) has not yet developed a - costly - own paying system.


how ABOUT Dutch CURRENCY


In Holland the local currancy is the euro (€), also Luxembourg, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Greece, Ireland, Finland and Slovenia are countries of the eurozone, and the isles Cyprus and Malta since 2008 next to Slovakia off 2009, so 16 countries. Inofficially the euro is the most important currancy in the European mininations Vaticancity, Monaco, San Marino, Andorra, Montenegro, Kosovo and more or less in Albania. Off 2002 the euro is one of the corner stones of the Dutch economy. We cannot imagin what would have become of Europe if the euro had not stabilized the economy during the credit crunch of 2008.
For foreigners life in our country is not cheap. You can buy little euro for your local money. Patrol is very pricy, f.i. euro 1,55 per liter (in the US € 0,55/ltr), which is about $ 8 a gallon. Your bank even may ask over $ 1,70 for 1 euro, JPY 120 (yen) for a dollar or JPY 160 for a euro, and CNY 12 (yuan) for a euro. So the euro is dear money. Altogether, comming to Holland is ok, it's alright to have your holidays here and to do business, it's a good country, it has many aspects and things to offer, but things over here have a price tag.

Euro coins have a value of 1 and 2 euro, also 5, 10, 20 and 50 eurocents. One and two eurocent coins are no longer allowed. Prices are rounded by 5 cents. There are banknotes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euro. Most used are notes of 5, 10, 20 and 50 euro and in general shops and malls don't accept other notes. Since euro notes and coins have internationally one side in common, you will notice that within short national sided coins will disappear and international sided notes will fill your wallet.

Plastic money, credit cards, is in use everywhere. Well known and accepted are Visa Card, (American Express Card/KLM Amex Card), EURO/MasterCard, Diners' Club Card and ING Card. Some shops don't welcome all cards.


     Enjoy some or all of these famous
    attractions when on unforgetable holidays in Holland . . . You can buy flexible priced tickets at  

AnneFrank WalibiWorld Mesdag caves of Han Avifauna Valkenburg Royal Palace Dolmens Royal Delft Hoge_Veluwe ArnhemZoo More right under


Quote of the year:
Dutch prof. Roel in 't Veld sais: "We [the Dutch] will be sorry making it so difficult for people to come to this country."
May, 2006
In 1900 Holland counted 5 million inhabitants. In 1950 the number increased to 10 million and today we live in the same country together with 16 million people. Holland counts most inhabitants per square kilometer in the world. In 2006 Holland grew by 6000 new inhabitants, but in the first half of 2007 this number increased to 15.000. Every year about 100.000 Dutch migrate to other countries. But newcomers keep coming, especially from Eastern-Europe. In 1969 the number of American citizens suddenly counted 200 million. Because it kept growing one asked how in the future to feed and keep awork such an amount of people. But again suddenly, only 37 years later, in October 2006 America fed and kept awork 100 million people more, since the number of Americans had reached 300 million. World population has grown over 6 billion. About one sixth is living in India and over one sixth are Chinese. The earth is able to feed them all, there is food enough, but one does not agree about distribuation. For each person the earth provides in 1.8 hectare of productive land, but at the moment each Dutchman needs 4.4 hectare.


Specific information

In this part we have collected websites that give more specific information about Holland. We think of subjects like the Netherlands on the world map, geographical data, info given by the Dutch ministries of foreign and internal affairs and finance, hotel accomodation, rent cars and biclycles, papers one need, etc. By following the links you may find a way to start coming to the Netherlands.

Geografical and general information GO

Find a location on the map of the Netherlands GO

Dutch ministry of justice (immigration & asylum) GO

Dutch ministry of foreign affairs GO

Dutch ministry of finance GO

Dutch ministry of foreign affairs GO

Official government tourist site GO

Tourist guides, flights, hotels, etc. GO

About its origins and general information GO

About the Dutch royal family GO

The webshop for (typical) Dutch products GO

Fast essential history of the Netherlands GO



Some * items are clickable.


SOME
DUTCH REMARKABLES

It's a pitty, but Holland is no longer only a country of wooden shoes*, cheese, peanut butter and tulips. You will meet with hospitality, but also high steel wind mills and enormous quantities of bicycles and cars. But old façades of houses, ancient wind mills, typical Dutch canals and a wide landscape are still there. In 2006 even 83% of the Dutch among all the 450 million Europeans declared themselves to be and to feel happy, the highest ranking in Europe. And Holland has developed her economy and in the mean time became the gateway to Europe while Rotterdam grew worlds second large sea port.

Rotterdam is the largest sea port in the world and Schiphol the leading airport of arival in Europe. Second is the Amsterdam sea port. In the Haque many international institutions are established such as the International Crime Court, International Court of Justice, Tribunals and the famous Peace Palace (Vredespaleis).


LEADING ENTERPRISES

Many world famous industries are originated in Holland, e.g. Philips, DAF Trucks, Esso, Royal Dutch Shell, Royal Air KLM, KPN telecom, Spyker Cars, int. banks as ABN-Amro and ING, enterprises Bos-Kalis, Calvé, vdBerg en Jurgens, Unilever, Heineken, Akzo-Nobel, Smit-Tak Int., Damen (yachts), Boskalis, TomTom, etc.

FAMOUS DUTCHMEN

Many international known great Dutchmen are artists like Spinoza, Erasmus, de Groot (Grotius), Rembrandt - the greatest international known Dutchman ever -, Steen, Vermeer, van Gogh, Appel, Mondriaan, and scientists like Antoni v. Leeuwenhoek, Lorentz, van der Waal, Huygens, Boerhaave, Veltman, van 't Hooft, Kuyper, van Leeuwenhoek, Kamerlingh Onnes, Oort, Spinoza (17th cent. auctor intellectualis of the Enlightment - les Lumières), Kaptein, Oort, and so on. Also many acknowledge Holland to be the country of inventors.

Only local famous historical Dutchmen are Piet Heijn, Michiel de Ruyter, Tromp, William of Orange, van Oldenbarnevelt, brothers de With and prince Maurits.

Among the 20th and 21th century most famous personalities is, next to the queens, the beloved princess Máxima, wife of prince William-Alexander* (who is next for the throne as 'king' since over 130 years), and socialist politician former prime minister William Drees (introduced old age pension act in '54), WW2-child Anna Frank (and her world famous tree and diary 'the Backhouse') and international football (soccer) player - and languistical artist - Johan Cruijff*.

TYPICAL DUTCH
PRODUCTS, MARKS & BRANDS

World wide known are some original and typical Dutch products as there are peanut butter, chocolate sprinkles, vlokken, silt drop, wentelteefjes, rumbeans, Dutch bitterballs, kroketten, Hague Hops, stroopwafels, boterbabbelaars, Heinz sandwich spread, Gouda cheese and candles, Delfts Blue earthenware, Royal Tichelaar earthenware (oldest Dutch industry, 1572), wooden shoes, tulip flowers and bulbs, old wind mills, city canals, football (soccer) heroes and famous football coaches, etc. Also there are many world famous Dutch industries such as Royal Air KLM(-Air France), Heineken (beer), Douwe Egberts (coffee), Pickwick (thea), Philips (electronics) and Mentos (pepermint dragees), DAF Trucks, FOKKER (airplanes) and maintenance, institute UNI-VERSUM.nl (GaTS world time standard)*, some Dutch originated banks as there are ING and ABN Amro , Akzo-Nobel (paints), Smit-Tak Int. and Boskalis (sea & water projects), Miffy (Dutch: Nijntje)*, Cruijff (int. football phenomenen), Damen (yachts), Hansje Brinkers*, etc. And the black-on-white and red-on-white colored Dutch Friesian cows are famous world over. Yearly over 1.5 million Dutch shop in Batavia Stad (Batavia City) outlet shopping, a shoppingtown* inspired by an old Dutch Hanse image.


- * -



SOME DUTCH HISTORY in a nutshell

    It is a miracle the tiny Netherlands, a country the size of a stamp, still exists. A small piece of flat land, partly born out of a delta of rivers or extracted from the seawaters, without mountains and counting fewer citizens than many large cities abroad, but it's a very modern and open one. It's ennemies have been foreign rulers, religious wars, two world wars, the challenging sea, flooding rivers and a language that is understood by a few. Centuries ago Holland was the mighty founder of New Amsterdam, now known as New York. If it was not for the fact that it sold New Amsterdam to the Englishman - and got Suriname -, maybe Dutch had become todays world language instead of English.

    During the Dutch 'Golden Age', the seventeenth century, Holland was the economic Holland means wood land, because formely there were woods all over the country. In French they speak of Les Pays Bas, the low lands, which in English is the nether lands. world power and played a significant and dictating role in world history. The Republic of the Netherlands was the first recognized modern capitalistic world power. Amsterdam became the financial centre of Europe and the world. Holland ruled the seas and tradefare in those days. The East Indies and the West Indies, for instance, were its rich colonies. It had possessions in North America, in South America (Suriname), in the Caribians and a.o. founded South Africa's capital Cape Town. The Dutch VOC enterprise was a mighty economic booster for the tiny Netherlands f.i. by conquering and ruling (as a private company) the large Indonesian archipel. It also once was the only western nation having trading connections with China and Japan in those times. Later on, however, this very small nation of only a few million people was overruled, next to Spain and France, by the dominating English millitary power. But up till now the country possesses some remains of that glorious episode of her heroic history.

    The Dutch are originated in former Germanic, Celtic and Batavi tribes that lived on the soil of the river delta left after by the Schelde, Rhine and Meuse. After a poor feodale era during the dark ages it was ruled by Spanish and France rulers. It had to fight the eithy years war that was ended in 1648 by the peace concordat of Münster in Germany. From that moment on these low land countries (the Netherlands) became more and more a nation that loved and enjoyed its indepandence. It has been and is politically and economically an incredable stable country, thanks to few strikes and calm political activities. Yet the nation met with two political murders. The first in 1584 took as victim city holder William of Orange, called the father of the fatherland. The second one was politically active citizen P. Fortuyn in 2002. Some acknowledge him as a great Dutchman, but in fact he did not do the country any good. In a short time he sharpened the differences between autochtone and the allochtone citizens, just as happened centuries ago when new faithes appeared in Europe and the country was also spiritual devided. And he set in motion the undermining of social securities, too. Still the Low Lands strongly survive, but it seems to have lost a large bit of its famous innocense, uninhibitedness and tolerant image. But it keeps working on that issue to improve her former image.

    The Netherlands always have to deal with the one ennemy: water. Half of the country finds itself over three meters below sea level, so a continuous and never ending struggle against the sea and rivers is of daily interest. Building dykes and dams has kept the country busy for ages. The Afsluitdijk - the DYKE - has been one of the most colossal enterprises ever undertaken by men. This enormous dyke 75 years ago dammed the Zuythersea from the Northsea and was part click for the giant Delta Project, a masterpiece of engeniering to protect a great deal of Dutch citizens against waterfloods. of the total Zuythersea Project, that also produced the IJsselmeer (Lake IJssel), new dry land and protected part of the country against dammage by stormfloodings. During the second half of the 20th century the country built the enormous Delta Project to secure the countryland from the sea.

    Today Holland is a very cultivated country and its infrastucture is one of the most developed in the world. Hot spots and internet café's are found everywhere, busses and trains are connecting cities and high ways are found across the country. But traffic jam has become a plaque. Take notice when you rent a car. Schiphol has become a main airport and entrance to the Netherlands and even Europe and untill a few months Rotterdam was the largest economic seaport in the world.

    At the moment the Netherlands, like the rest of Europe, are overcomming an economic crisis and employment is growing. It is also comming out of an industrial and agricultural era to become a knowledge based economy. New European rules for open borders make it easy for foreign (EU) hands to get jobs in the Netherlands. But, like many other western nations, the Netherlands also cope with the problem of illegal persons present. Tens of thousands of them are asking to be legalized, but in this respect laws have been sharpened and do no longer allow a residents permit as easy as it used to be.

If uptil now you are of the opinion the Netherlands only consists of a very small part of north-eastern Europe, you ought to know there is a little more. Former small colonies in the caribean region form part of royal territory of the Netherlands (the Dutch West Indies; the Dutch East Indies went lost in 1949 when they became Indonesia). Here in the caribean the queen is even more popular then in her home land. Aruba - only self-governing Dutch territory -, Bonaire and Curaçao, islands situated just north and in front of Venezuela's coast, are, by law, Netherlands, too, by forming the self-governing Dutch territory of the Netherlands Antilles. And so there are the islands Saba, St. Maarten and St. Eustatius, farther north, that are in this jurisdictional way (the Kingdom Statute or Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, 1954) also part of the Netherlands. It is an intricate way of stabilizing and govern a world wide nation.
We have to admit that there are many problems in the relationship between the home land and its caribean partners. The last have been dealing with drugs smugling and the Dutch navy has to improve control on sea in order to prevent drug smugling into the islands. But also local political ideas and impossibilities to get a job in the region destabilize normal living standards. Half of the Dutch caribeans (130.000) live in Holland. The fear is many caribeans more will come over to Holland, too, when the islands become a selfgoverning and independant nation, just the thing that happened when Indonesia and in later on in 1975 Suriname was founded. Though there was a time these islands meant an income for the Dutch Treasury, now each Dutchman yearly pays €15 to keep these - Dutch - caribean islanddwellers alive. But a new form of relationship between the Netherlands and the caribean islands is in the making, due for 2008.

    Being a member of the European Union (EU, 27 members 2008), this union by far cannot speak of its members to be a united states of Europe. The union does not have a constitution, only a treaty of cooperation. Deep rooted cultural, political and languistical differences overpower the economic necessity and will of the society involved of being a real union for a long time to go. It is not yet a very materialistic society but demands are increasing every day and advertising is creating a growing material oriented public. Since decennia a growing number of temporarely North-African and Turkish labourers did not return home. Thats why the nation is, also in political circles, becomming more and more a multicolor multicultural society. In spite of all this Holland is a lovely country and an experiance while especially well known for its international and open caracter, homogeneity and Golden Age culture. In 2006 over eleven million tourists will visit this country and possibly you will be one of them.

For now,
    welcome to Holland
,

the amazing gentle royal nation of working freedom and touristic attractions!    




In nov. 2006 The Economist magazine proclaimed
the Netherlands the third best country concerning
political freedom and personal freedom of citizens.
This was just before two Dutch journalists
were imprissoned as hostages ordered by a judge because
they refused to tell their news sources to protect these.

Politics in the Netherlands represent strange stuff.
Instead of two major national parties, as f.i. in the US,
the populismatic thinking of this multicultural country
knows many of them, thus even producing a 'Party for Animals'
that has a voting seat in the Dutch House of Commons.
In these low lands almost nothing is politically impossible.
Only our thouthern neigbours, the Belgians, are worse. Devided
by the two main tongues, French and Dutch, they cannot agree
on some primitive ideas, so the country was not gouverned
for over a hundredandninetytwo days on a row (again) to get
an interim gouvernment in power untill March 2008 finally. We notice the
same problem in Kosovo and wonder why nobody can agree on little things.
In Holland the main item that splits the Dutch unity is
formed by islam. It seems some political parties only
exist by fear for it and thus oppose very strongly - soft said.

An other big problem is the care for the elderly. The economy
is booming but increasing costs cannot be provided by the
gouvernment, something few can understand. On the other hand
12 juncks will be flown to Suriname to kick off at a
(vacation-) cost of 50.000 a person. This is also paid for by that same
gouvernment. The nations own people can hardly grasp this typical
Dutch way of handling problems.
On the other hand, this people have many inventional ideas and do
not stop winning land. The latest thoughts are to conquer the North Sea
and make dry land of a part of it in front of the Dutch coast. But also
there are scientists revelating the western Dutch dwellers should move to the
east of the country because the rising sea level.
Wisdom ... ?


authors labs staff    


_ * _


TYPICAL
DUTCH HABITS

After World War II the most exiting and turbulance social moment of the Dutch was caused by changing the guilder (f for florin) for the euro (€) in 2002. Uptil now many have lost the feeling of the - hard - guilder security and are of the opinion that money has no value any more (little euro for your guilder, so a loss of buying capacity by prices growing sky high). And also still in the public memory of tens of thousands is the remembrance of 1953 Waterflood - like shortly New Orleans (USA) by Katrina - when a part of Holland was taken by the sea and caused 1800 people to die. In October 1992 a Boeing airplane dived down into a block of apartments killing 48 lives, which is called the 'Bijlmer Disaster'* and rememberd every year. In a larger part of the Dutch peoples memories is still the 'fireworks explosion' in 2000 that totaly wiped out the complete neighbourhood area Roomburg in the town of Enschede.

Well known is bicycling as a Dutch way of being mobile in parts of these overcrowded flat lands. Every year several Dutch cycling equipes are standard a part of the world famous Tour the France - in July - and other cycling events. Orange is the international (export) color - 'Orange' is winning - of a.o. the national football (soccer) team, famous by the EC and especially by the World (football) Championship 2006* and its World Cup. Next to it are well known the Four Day Marches* of Nijmegen in mid July when over 42.200 walkers (from 63 nations) go for 40 km. every day for four days on a row.
When climate is cooperating and the rivers are frozen, thousands of members of the Eleven Cities Tour* foundation are going to skate over 200 hard and harsh kms. through eleven cities this day. Its a world famous event, but sometimes it takes a decennium before a new tour takes place because icy winters are becoming scarce these days.
On one Sunday in July there are the famous TT motorraces in Assen, visited by thousans of people.
The national sport events are centered around the national sport football (soccer). Four teams are the heroes in the top 'Eredivisie' (League of Honour), Ajax (Amsteram)*, Feyenoord (Rotterdam), PSV (Eindhoven) and AZ (Alkmaar). If you are sportinterested you need to know about the outs and ins of these teams and the eleven playing millionairs of each team.
When you come to Holland as a tourist you can travel through the country by hiring a car or bicycle - there are highways and 'cycle paths/fietspaden' - (or take a tram in the cities), by train via a well devoleped railway system or hire a helicopter for a birdseye view of parts of this country and buy a ticket for a boattrip in many places bordering water.
In summer a great part of the country (so some millions) goes abroad on holidays to Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, Austria, Germany, Bulgary or Greece and Egypt. On the other hand over eleven million American tourists visited the Netherlands in 2006, next to many thousand foreigners from other countries. This is spectacular for the European currancy, the euro, is not cheap at this moment. On the other hand, the economy is well running and people are making money and more and more inclined to travel.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
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Famous Dutch constructions and sites you might admire and also wish to visit, and make or buy fotographes of, are the Rotterdam Euromast, the underwater sealife aquarium Sea Life, the Dolfinarium at Harderwijk, the Artis Zoo Amsterdam or Blijdorp Rotterdam Zoo or Burger Zoo Arnhem , childrens fun park the Efteling, the Wadden Islands, the beaches of Scheveningen and beaches of Noordwijk, the Night Watch (Rembrandt), the van Gogh musueum, the Pier at Scheveningen seafront, and beautifull flower garden Keukenhof, the Panorama of Mesdag, the seven wind mills of Kinderdijk, and the planetarium at the Haque or the Omniversum at Rotterdam.


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disclaimer: data were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed.




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