More optimists than pessimists in Netherlands for first time in 10 years

Crowded train station in the Netherlands
Crowded train station in the Netherlands. (Photo: Iijjccoo / Wikimedia Commons)

For the first time since the outbreak of the financial crisis in 2008, more people in the Netherlands are positive about the development of the country than are negative, according to a report by social and cultural planning office SCP. The Dutch are less worried about the economy and have more confidence in politics and the judiciary, RTL Nieuws reports.

Why people suddenly switched to being more positive in the first quarter of 2018, the SCP can't say. It may partly be explained by the new government, Paul Dekker of the SCP said to the broadcaster. "We see that new cabinets always bring more confidence and optimism, but normally these are not such big effects."

"We also get the feeling that we are talking to each other in a different way and are therefore more optimistic, but I can't prove that", Dekker added. The sum of all the things going well in the country also plays a part - the economy is doing better, so is politics and "we've realized that it is not all that bad", Dekker said. "The mindset changes."

Despite the increased optimism, the SCP noticed that people in the Netherlands are increasingly worried about poverty. Last year 7 percent of Dutch said poverty was their biggest concern, now it is 12 percent. "People think: if things are going so well with the economy, how can it be that the number of long-term poor increases?" according to Dekker.

In the first quarter 79 percent of Dutch said they were satisfied with their municipal council, and 59 percent with national politics. Compared to last year, more people also have confidence in the judiciary, parliament and the government.