The 12 most-read Netherlands news stories in 2015 on the NL Times

It's been an incredibly interesting year in the Netherlands, and we hope it was a good one for all of you. The country had many things to focus on, from terrorist attacks in Europe to an influx of refugee seeking people fleeing war zones. The economy seems to be improving, even though the government is having trouble coping with unemployment, but optimism is high across the country for 2016.

So let's take a look back, and see what the most popular stories were both to our Netherlands-based audience, and to our audience around the world. The ranking is based on unique pageviews, with data compiled on December 31 at 2 p.m.

Top 12 most read articles by Netherlands audience:

  1. The thing our Dutch readers seemed to care most about is the 60 law changes taking effect in the Netherlands as of January 1st, 2016, published on December 25th.
  2. In January a group claiming affiliation with terrorist organization Islamic State named Amsterdam as a target of attack. The Arabic-language piece seemed to promote the use of dirty bombs. The article was published on January 13th.
  3. In November Transport Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen caused a bit of an uproar when she announced intentions for banning scooters from Amsterdam's bike paths, published on November 17th.
  4. At the start of this year residents of the Netherlands were also keen to know about the more than 60 new laws that were implemented on January 1st, 2015 - which is also the day this article was published.
  5. An official at De Nederlandsche Bank was the center of attention on April 13th when it was revealed that she was living a double life as an exclusive sadomasochistic mistress. Incidentally, this story would have been higher on the list if it included the total number of times people re-visited the article.
  6. Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb drew many a comment when he told Muslims who are against fee speech to "fuck off" after the attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January. The article was published on January 8th.
  7. A story about a 19 year old Dutch girl killed in a quad bike accident on the Greek island of Kos was the most read story of August 7th.
  8. Many Dutch readers were interested to know when the body of missing Scottish tourist Chris Nelson was found in the Oudeschans canal in Amsterdam on December 2nd.
  9. Two Greek tourists needed rescue from the police early in December after they somehow managed to cycle their rental bikes onto the A10 highway in Amsterdam. The article was published on December 9th.
  10. On December 3rd students at the Technical University in Delft underwent random bag checks at the university's entrances after a threat was received.
  11. Lelystad residents were shocked in December when the bodies of Manon Pieters and her 16 year old daughter were found murdered and hidden in a crawl space in their home. The article was published on December 14th.
  12. In August Dutch internet service provider were hit by several so-called DDoS attacks, resulting in thousands of Dutch consumers being unable to connect to their services. On August 20th the company stated that it expects more attacks on their servers.

Top 10 most read articles by international audience:

  1. On February 13th Dutchman Jurrien de Jong claimed that he was an eye witness to the disappearance of missing American teenager Natalee Holloway, and that he knows where she is buried.
  2. Our international audience was also interested in Mayor Aboutaleb's statements about Muslims living in Western society despite their hatred for it, published on January 8th.
  3. In October 14th a one of a kind Audi RS6 DTM was stolen in an armed heist in Amsterdam. The car was found, completely burnt out, in a parking garage a few hours later during the early morning of October 15th.
  4. Plans for a blood rave, based on 1998 vampire movie Blade, in Amsterdam on Halloween night drew a lot of international attention on August 20th.
  5. On January 19th a street art project in Rotterdam nearly ended in disaster when firefighters had to rescue a woman from a block of gypsum plasters. Emergency services were called in when the woman realized she needed more oxygen than she could get breathing through a straw.
  6. In March investigators announced that Dutch women Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon, who went missing in Panama in April last year, likely died after falling from a cliff. The article was published on March 4th.
  7. Our international audience was also interested to know about the law changes taking effect in the Netherlands on January 1st, 2016, published on December 25th.
  8. And in January 13th article about Amsterdam being named as a target for an attack by a group claiming affiliation to ISIS.
  9. In March two Muslim students filed a case against Erasmus MC because the medical center would not give the two female students exemption from a practical part of their course in which they have to participate in a physical examination conducted by other students. The article was published on March 24th.
  10. As with our Dutch audience, our international audience also could not pass up the chance to read about the DNB official and her double life as a sadomasochistic mistress. Published on April 13th.
  11. On December 24th a picture of a Muslim teenage girl crowd surfing and a hardcore punk concert not only became a sensation on social media, but also on our site.
  12. Police descended on the home of a 21-year-old man suspected of publishing a threat to shoot multiple people on the campus of Leiden University. The man was a student at the institution.