For today, just a quick update on the country known for a flat landscape of canals, tulip fields, windmills and cycling routes.
On January 10, the Netherlands will seat a new government with Mark Rutte, 54, as prime minister, then, after Viktor Orbán, the EU's longest-serving head of government.
Mark Rutte will lead a challenging government since it is a coalition of four parties, the centrist D66, Rutte's liberal VVD, Christian Democratic CDA and the Christian Union. These parties had reached a coalition deal last month after 271 days of difficult negotiations.
What can be expected from this government?
The coalition wants to launch significant spending programmes on housing, education, defence and climate that will increase the country’s ratio of debt to gross domestic product above the EU’s 60 per cent limit in coming years.
The incoming government plans to build two nuclear power stations to achieve climate goals. In addition, the government wants to extend the life of the nuclear power station in Borssele.
The new government also wants to introduce new taxes. The coalition agreement says: "We are committed to a digital services tax, an airline tax, a CO2 border tax and a minimum rate for profit tax to prevent unfair competition between Member States."
If you want more, Lukas Kotkamp covers this topic on Politico.
By the way: Did you know that this small but dense populated country (17.5 million people live there) is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products by value, owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, intensive agriculture, and inventiveness? (only the USA exports more; source)
Have a wonderful first Wednesday in 2022!