Irritating: Contact with Dutch civil servants annoys many

Many Dutch are irritated by the government. The biggest annoyance is that civil servants often don't seem capable of solving citizens' problems, according to a study among 500 Dutch commissioned by National Ombudsman Reinier van Zutphen.

A total of 51 percent of Dutch are annoyed at civil servants' perceived incompetence. 29 percent complain about how long it takes before you get a response on your inquiry. 28 perceent find it frustrating that there is a lack of understanding of personal situations. And 83 percent want to be able to decide for themselves how to make contact with the government.

"The Dutch are critical and give the government a meager sufficient", Van Zuthphen said. "This is a clear message. More attention is needed for the contact and relationship with citizens. The government should listen more actively."