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Dutch citizens take pride in their nationality

Prosperity seen as greatest good

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

RIJSWIJK - Over 90 percent of Dutch citizens are proud of their nationality, according to a recent survey on behalf of Reader’s Digest magazine. Such pride is carried over when people are abroad and glowingly speak of for example the Delta Works and Schiphol Airport.

Most of those polled know by heart the first of sixteen stanza’s of the national anthem Wilhelmus. They treasure such traditions as Sinterklaas and Queen’s Day, and rather do not see themselves as Europeans.

Events in the last fifteen years which bonded the Dutch together were the murders of politician Pim Fortuyn and of filmmaker/columnist Theo van Gogh, the wedding of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Mŕxima, the death of Prince Claus and the fundraising campaigns for the victims of the December 2004 tsunami.

For most of the people polled, the relative prosperity is the greatest advantage of living in the Netherlands. Other advantages quoted are the social security, education, housing and the highway system.

Over half of those interviewed regard high taxes as the biggest disadvantage, followed by population density, medical waiting lists, traffic jams and the crime rate.