Netherlands. According to
Countryaah official website, the country will probably be remembered in
1999 as the year of violence. In December, a shooting drama
occurred in a school in Veghel in the southern Netherlands.
A 17-year-old student shot and wounded four schoolchildren
and a teacher. It is the first time in the country's history
that there has been a shooting in a school, and the people
were shocked that this American phenomenon spread to the
Netherlands. The country has very strict gun laws. In
September, the government presented a proposal to tighten
the penalty for illegal possession of weapons from nine
months to four years.
The shootout ended another successful year for the
incumbent coalition government, the Social Democratic Party
of PvdA and the Liberal-Conservative parties VVD and D66.
Social Democratic Gov. Wim Kok has easily landed for five
years. His reign is described as an economic miracle of
increased employment, falling unemployment and above-average
economic growth in the EU. But in 1999, the warning bells
began to ring because the economy was heading for a sharp
overheating. There was a large shortage of labor, which led
the government to reevaluate the system of sickness pension,
which for decades has been administered by the social
partners. The government is dissatisfied with the way in
which unions and employers handle the sickness benefit
system. 900,000 people receive sickness pension,
At the end of the year, the government invited the social
partners to discuss moving the entire social insurance
system to the state. However, the trade unions fear that the
state wants to take over the maintenance of social insurance
systems in order to lower the level of compensation. Both
trade unions and employers see a danger in the state taking
control of social security systems. This can cause the
so-called Polder model to collapse.
The Polder model is the mainstay of the Dutch consensus
spirit and implies a consensus between the government and
the social partners. It is this consensus that is the basis
for the country's economic success in recent years.
liberalized labor market step by step.
The union central organization FNV (the equivalent of LO
/ TCO) has threatened to withdraw from all tripartite
cooperation with the government if it takes control of the
social insurance system, which could result in the
well-known Dutch consensus model being pushed down.