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Public want government to focus on problems at home

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE – Nearly two out every three Dutch people want their government to focus on solving problems in the Netherlands, instead of dealing with issues abroad. These sentiments have grown stronger in recent years, a quarterly published by two Dutch research agencies (SCP and COB) reports. In 2007 five international concerns made it on the list of ten. Currently two remain, war and terrorism. Both rank lower on the list as well. Defense and development aid remain the two subjects people say can do with less. Dutch people continue to be keenly interested in disasters and conflicts elsewhere in the world, except they suggest that the Netherlands does not have to be leading relief missions or conflict resolution. The perception that the Dutch have withdrawn behinds the dike, is erroneous the agencies say. Overall, the Dutch are pessimistic about the affairs of their country, although optimism is returning. The supporters of the current government coalition have more confidence in its policies, Wilders’ supporters are more cautious. The questionnaire on which the quarterly report was based was completed by 1,100 people.