Most Dutch find apologies for slavery past unnecessary
A majority of Netherlands residents do not consider it necessary for the country to apologize for the slavery in its past, according to a survey conducted by I&O Research for newspaper Trouw.
56 percent of respondents said that the Netherlands played a serious role in the history of slavery. But 55 percent don't think that this has to lead to apologies. 31 percent think the Netherlands should apologize.
Netherlands residents with no migration in their family history are more likely to think that the country need not apologize for its slavery past. 62 percent said it was not necessary to make apologies. Among Dutch with a Surinamese or Antillean background, 70 percent think the Netherlands needs to apologize. As do two thirds of Dutch-Turks and Dutch-Moroccans.
During the worldwide Black Lives Matter demonstrations last summer, the discussion about the Netherlands slavery history flared up. Prime Minister Mark Rutte then said that he did not want to apologize, because according to him, that would lead to polarization.
Early this year, Rotterdam announced that it was considering apologizing for its slavery history after a number of investigation showed that the city was "up to its ears" in slavery. Amsterdam is also working on this issue.