Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam, Jan 7th 2016 (Photo: Zachary Newmark/NL Times) - Credit: Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam, Jan 7th 2016 (Photo: Zachary Newmark/NL Times)
Europe meetings benefit only Amsterdam's economy, provinces claim
All informal ministerial meetings during the Netherlands' term as EU president will be held in Amsterdam to save costs. The other provinces feel it's unfair that only Amsterdam is profiting from the Presidency, complaining about missed revenue and free advertising, Het Parool reports. The first such meeting is being held in the Scheepvaartmuseum this morning, with the European Commission meeting with the Dutch cabinet. Max van den Berg, commissioner for the King in Groningen, is one of several complaining that this is all very well and good for Amsterdam, but the rest remain hidden from view. "We're good enough for a refugee center. The meetings go past us", he said to the newspaper. Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Ben Bot calls it a "missed opportunity". "The rest get very little. Only a troop of black Mercedes driving to Amsterdam and leave a day and a half later. This was a great opportunity. Both to put the Netherlands on the European map and to give euro-skeptics more explanation. You only get this chance once every 14 years." According to the newspaper, the Dutch government seems to ignore millions of euros and thousands of jobs the EU Presidency could bring in. NBTC Holland Marketing, responsible for getting the Dutch tourism industry on the map, made several suggestions but none of them were picked up. The institution told the newspaper that the government is taking "a more sober approach".