The Dutch aren’t sure what to make of Catalonia’s independence bid. Only in the last few days have their news media started paying attention to what’s happening in the region.
Flemish media are more interested. Maybe because they have pragmatically managed their differences with the French-speaking Walloons for decades and are wondering why the Catalans and Spanish can’t do the same? Read more
Democrats Should Campaign for Dutch-Style Health Reforms
The other day, I explained that the reason Americans can’t get a European-style health-care system is not opposition from insurance companies but the fears of 155 million Americans who currently get health insurance through their employers. They worry that a single-payer system, like Britain’s, would mean higher taxes and lower-quality care.
Such fears — largely unfounded — would undoubtedly be amplified by drug companies, health providers and insurance companies if the Democrats campaigned for “Medicare for all”.
So instead of having an abstract, and probably pointless, debate about which health-care system is superior, why not look at what advocates of single-payer hope to achieve and see if this can’t be done without eliminating private insurance? Read more
Negotiations for Labor Reform Break Down in Netherlands
Labor negotiations between employers’ organizations and trade unions have broken down in the Netherlands.
Both sides blame the other, but employers had the bigger incentive to let the talks collapse.
Without a deal, it will be up to the next government to impose reforms and the four parties negotiating to form a government are center-right. They are expected to enact more employer- than worker-friendly changes. Read more
Dutch Seek New Role for Themselves in Europe of Brexit and Macron
Brexit and a reinvigorated Franco-German partnership have caused the Dutch to seek a new role for themselves in Europe.
For years, the trading nation could rely on the United Kingdom to provide a counterweight to the Mediterranean bloc and its protectionist tendencies. Now the fear in The Hague is that Britain’s exit from the EU will lead to a renewed focus on political, as opposed to economic, integration. Read more
Dutch Liberal, Christian Parties Start Talks to Form Government
Parties in the Netherlands have asked former finance minister Gerrit Zalm to lead negotiations for forming a government, signaling their seriousness to do a deal before the start of the fiscal year in September. Read more
Dutch Left Forces Liberals into Coalition with Christian Right