Netherlands Year in Review: NL Times picks top stories of 2017

Aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Sint Maarten, 7 Sept 2017
Aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Sint Maarten, 7 Sept 2017. (Photo: Mediacentrum Defensie / Gerben van Es)

2017 was a busy year for the Netherlands, with parliamentary elections and a new government forming, a hurricane hitting three islands that form part of the Kingdom, and a number of murders that rocked the country. Here follows a summary of the biggest stories of the year.


The parliamentary election was held on March 15th. The , and . Geert Wilders' PVV went from 15 to 20 seats in parliament, making the anti-Islam party the second largest in the Netherlands after the VVD with 33 seats. Despite the PVV's gains, the fact that the party did not come out of the elections on top put an following the UK deciding to leave the European Union, and Donald Trump being elected the U.S. president. 

Then followed the longest in Dutch history. After over six months of negotiations, the new Dutch government coalition of VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie was

Early this year Amsterdam mayor  shook the Dutch capital when he announced that he had been  Despite his visibly declining health, he stayed on as long as he possibly could, only . A few days later thousands of people gathered outside his home, to for everything he did for the city. Van der Laan on October 5th. His death was met with sorrow from  and. Thousands of people , some waiting in line for hours to get a chance to say goodbye. His private funeral had o


On September 7th category five hit the islands of Sint Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustatius, which all form part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The hurricane l, hitting Sint Maarten the hardest and d, business and other infrastructure on the island. An optimistic estimate is that Sint Maarten will take two years to recover from the

Earlier this month,  brought parts of the country to a standstill. early,  at all airports, and motorists were . The snow storm caused the , and  


At the start of June, the entire Netherlands was shocked by the murder of two 14-year-old girls less than 20 kilometers from each other. from Hoevelaken was found in Achterhoek on June 2nd. A 14-year-old boy was convicted for raping and killing her and - the maximum sentence a juvenile can get in the Netherlands. Savannah Dekker from Bunschoten on June 1st. Her on in a watery ditch on an industrial terrain on June 4th. A His trial is yet to happen. 

The fact that these two young girls were murdered in the same area, possibly within hours of each other, had everyone concerned that a serial killer was targeting teenagers. The Netherlands breathed a sigh of relief when it became clear that their  

Another murder that held the Netherlands in suspense for weeks, was that of . The 25-year-old Utrecht woman went . Her in a wooded area in Zeewolde on October 12th. Michael P. is suspected of raping and murdering the young woman. His arrest caused quite an uproar, as at the time he was institutionalized in a psychiatric clinic 


Ransomware - a type of malware that blocks access to an infected computer and then prompts the user to pay a ransom to regain control of his computer - was a big problem in the Netherlands this year. In June a brought APM container terminal in the port of Rotterdam, pharmaceutical MSD and package carrier TNT to a standstill. It before they were able to function again. A survey revealed that at least 1 over the past three years. The ransomware problem prompted the against cyber attacks on their systems. 

In January a power outage caused by a component failure l. The power outage caused chaos within the city, . Three  during the power outage, two of which because their loved ones could not get hold of the emergency services. 


The collapse of , 20, during a friendly match against Werder Bremen stunned the football world. The young midfielder was apparently suffering from cardiac arrhythmias in the 72nd minute, causing him to lie down on the pitch before losing consciousness. He was transported to an Austrian hospital where he was . Nicknamed “Appie,” Nouri was still in a Dutch medical facility five months later, where he showed slight signs of improvement. What happened to the young footballer propmted FIFA to call for

In happier football news, in May. Some 150 thousand frenzied fans . And the Dutch women's football squad,  for the first time ever. The team was , a big win for Dutch football in a year that saw the tournament qualification.