Most Dutch upbeat on 2015 economy

Dutch people are optimistic and positive about the new year. They enter 2015 much less concerned about the economic crisis compared to last year. This is according to a study published by the Social and Cultural Planning Office (SCP).

72 percent of Dutch people thinks the future is going to be rosy. They expect that the economy will either remain at the same level or improve. According to the SCP, only 47 percent of people thought the economy was adequate in the summer of 2013, at the height of the crisis. Before the crisis 80 percent were satisfied with the economy.

But as concerns about the economy decrease, other concerns start to pop up again, such as concerns over integration. 32 percent of participants in the survey called integration a major social problem. They feel that there are too many asylum seekers, that foreigners integrate badly and "steal everything". According to the researchers, there has been a significant increase in this concern. Last year only 17 percent of people cited integration as a problem and pointed to Eastern Europeans. This year participants called Moroccans, Muslims and Islamization the biggest problems. This can be linked to the rise of terrorist organization Islamic State (ISIS) and the fear of jihadists.

The international developments also ensure that there is increased support for military missions, especially when it comes to fighting terrorism. Nearly 50 percent of participants support military missions, especially in the fight against ISIS.

For this study a thousand people were questioned every three months about their political and social views to measure what is happening in the Netherlands. The SCP performed this study on behalf of the Cabinet.