Global real estate investment company Kennedy Wilson, in partnership with the National College of Ireland (NCI), focusing on supporting vulnerable families …

Can you explain the situation in Netherlands?

Yes, I can. Our situation is like this:

  • We live with about 17 millions other dutchmen on a small piece of land (41,543 km2) in North-west Europe.
  • We mostly live below sea-level, but we are famous for our dykes (a levee, not the lesbians, but we are proud of them too)
  • The dutch men are the tallest in the world. Dutch men revealed as world’s tallest – BBC News. So we have a good view on the rest of you. We also seem to have the biggest heads. I don’t know what that means.
  • We are among the happiest people in the world. Why The Dutch Are The Happiest People In The World
  • We have the happiest kids in the world. They raise the world’s happiest children – so is it time you went Dutch?
  • We are one ranked among the finest democracies in the world. Democracy Index – Wikipedia
  • We are ranked in the top 3 of countries when it comes to press freedom. Unlike Turkey where press freedom is declining under Erdogan.
  • We are economically one of the most competitive countries in the world. On the Global Competitiveness Index 2017 we are ranked 4th, just after Switserland, US and Singapore.
  • We have an incredible GDP for such a tiny country. Bigger than large countries like – completely for example – Turkey. List of countries by GDP (nominal) – Wikipedia
  • Economic growth was 2.1% in 2016 with a budget surplus of 3 billion euro. The same growth is expected in the next few years.
  • In terms of agricultural exports, the Netherlands is second biggest export country in the world (in absolute numbers) only to the US. Germany ranked third, followed by Brazil and France. We are the number 1 exporter to the world for live trees, plants, bulbs, roots and cut flowers.
  • The Netherlands has the best pension system in the world. Currently ranking number 1 on the Mercer Global Pension Index. Pensions assets GDP ratio is the highest in the world. Despite this pensions are expected to be cut due to current low interest Rates resulting in Below critical funding ratio of 104.…
  • When it comes to watermanagement, nobody does that better then the Netherlands. It’s logical since large parts of dutch soil is actually lower then the sea. Our Delta Works are famous. Another example is the $2.8 billion Room for the River project. Dutch drinking water and our drinking water system are among the best in the world; the quality equals the quality of bottled water, but is much cheaper.
  • We have an incredible sports culture for such a small country. In the last summer Olympics we ranked 11th on the medal table and 5th in both last two winter Olympics. Turkey – for example – ranked 41th in Rio and did not win any medal in PyeongChang and Sochi.
  • Some of my personal all time favorite wins are the volleyball-men (1996), Epke Zonderland (2012) and Yvonne van Gennip (1988). In the last Olympics, Sanne Wevers, Ellis Ligtlee and Anna van der Breggen were incredible.
  • We are the only country in the world cup finals more then once (three times) to never win it (1974 – Legendary loss in Munich, 1978 – Losing in a foul war in Buenos Aires , 2010 – The ugly game of Johannesburg) Netherlands at the FIFA World Cup – Wikipedia. Lately we haven’t been playing too well, as this 3–0 defeat against Turkey shows.
  • We are one of the most multicultural countries in the world.…
  • The Netherlands are one of the most liberal countries in the world on the subject of sex. Sex here is about respect, intimacy, safety as well as fun. You may love whoever you want here (if he or she wants you as well), as long as you and your adult partner protect each others boundaries. Same-sex-love is fine here. The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage (the Netherlands legalized same-sex civil unions in 1998 and gay marriage in 2001).
  • Prostitution is legal as well (as everybody in the world seems to know); you need a permit though. Health and safety inspections are held on a regular base.
  • Already in kindergarten children are being educated about sexuality. We consider sexual development a normal process that all young people experience, and they have the right to frank, trustworthy information on the subject. Not without reward, the birth rate among teenagers in the Netherlands is one of the lowest in the world. The same counts for abortion and sexual diseases/HIV.
  • Our view on drugs (alcohol, cannabis, xtc etc) is more practical then dogmatic: we have chosen the skill-oriented method to educate people about drug usage, an approach which involves making choices, solving conflicts and employing resilience; such as dealing with emotions and resisting group pressure. This approach has proved to be the most effective: drugs are used less in the Netherlands then most of the surrounding countries and certainly then in the US.
  • Two-thirds of people in Netherlands have no religious faith. We are a bunch of atheist but with a big respect for religious freedom. Already in the 16th century the founding fathers first set sail to the Netherlands to settle before going to America.
  • Dutch healthcare is one of the best in the world (The Netherlands continues to have the best health care system in the EU) and affordable. Given or take, it costs a 4 member family $50 a week. People who can’t afford it get an allowance.
  • In the international university Rankings we have 8 universities in the top 100, just behind Germany, UK and the US. That is two more than- again complete coincidence – Turkey.
  • We had elections last year. This is what the voters – roughly- said:
    1. The current prime minister did well; he can stay. Totally understandable, as Mark Rutte is a smart, reasonable guy. No hunger for dictatorship power there, unlike – uhmm- Erdogan.
    2. A lot of voters choose social conservative because of the fear of losing the Dutch identity/brand because of the influence of Europe and immigration with different conservative values. Other reason is because of the fear of losing cheap labor to countries abroad. Both fears are totally understandable and up for debate. I don’t agree with the scapegoating and cheap shots from the populist side though. It gives those subjects a foul stench that reminds me of darker times when one man could rule all (not mentioning Erdogan here).
    3. A lot of voters chose progressive to become environmental neutral, boost education, boost individual freedom and see the Netherlands as a part of the international community. Totally agree with that too though we don’t want to be naive about the agressive baboon politics of Trump, Putin and Erdogan as well as the commitment of religious fanatics to destroy those progressive rights.
  • We had a nasty quarrel with the government of Turkey last year in march when the OP posed his question…
  • Yes, we have negatives as well. And we are better in complaining about it than you are.
  • And the best of all, we are so modest about it… 😉