In normal times, the Dutch general elections would not make headline news around the world. But we are not in normal times. The Netherlands, for decades were considered one of the solid, stable, north European countries. That is no longer the case, as the crisis of world capitalism impacts on this small country.

On December 9th, 2016, Geert Wilders was sentenced in The Hague for group defamation and incitement of discrimination. However, the court did not impose any punishment. In their understanding Wilders was already punished enough by the media attention the court case got. The reaction to this from wider society reflects the polarized situation in the Netherlands.

On the April 6th the Netherlands held a consultative referendum on the Association Treaty of the European Union with Ukraine. The referendum was organised by a coalition of right-wing “Eurosceptic” groups that wanted a “No” vote in order to deliver a symbolic blow to the EU and to create friction between the EU countries.

The student struggle has flared up in Amsterdam. In a period of a few weeks, two university buildings have been occupied. At the moment of writing, the building of the executive board of the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the famous Maagdenhuis, is being occupied by students. Their struggle is against the "efficiency-oriented" top-down management, for which the profit motive is more important than the interests of students and lecturers.

Last week, the new king of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, declared that the era of the welfare state was over and that the Netherlands are moving towards a ‘participation society’. This is a reflection of the crisis of capitalism, where all the gains of the past will be destroyed, unless the capitalist system is overthrown.

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