Netherlands. After many years of intense debate, active
euthanasia has now become legal in the Netherlands. Under
the new law, euthanasia can be given to patients who have
expressed a desire to die and who suffer from an incurable
disease that causes incurable pain.
COUNTRYAAH, the debate over labor shortages involved politicians for
most of the year. The official unemployment rate in 2000 was
a modest 2.5%, and 10% of the industry stated that the labor
shortage hampered companies to expand. The labor shortage is
a problem for almost all sectors of Dutch society, and in
order to overcome some of the shortage, the Netherlands is
now investing heavily in e-commerce. 10% of all food sales
and 15% of all other sales will be possible via the Internet
within a few years, according to the plans.
The tragic explosion accident outside Enschede in May led
to an upset debate about corporate responsibility in
Business is versatile. Almost two-thirds of the area is
cultivated. Production is concentrated on cattle farming and
butter and cheese are important export products. Moreover,
cereals, potatoes and greenhouse crops dominate - fruits,
vegetables, flower bulbs.
The majority of the population work in industry and the
service industries. The most important industrial branches
are the metal, textile and food industries. Also important
are ship production (in Amsterdam and Rotterdam), the
electrotechnical industry (the Philip Group in Eindhoven)
and the chemical industry with an emphasis on oil refineries
(at Rotterdam). Rotterdam is the largest port city in
The most important energy resource was formerly coal
(Limburg province, farthest in the southeast), but this
extraction was discontinued only in the 1970's. The gas
fields in the province of Groningen in the northeast today
cover a considerable part of the Dutch energy demand.
The Netherlands has acquired a number of ethnic
minorities after World War II. The most important are
immigrants from Suriname, the Netherlands Antilles, Morocco,
Turkey and the southern European countries. The major
conflicts in the 1970's were concentrated on the South
Moluccans, originally from eastern Indonesia.. They were
used as elite troops in the Dutch colonial army in
Indonesia, and refused to accept the colony's independence.
They were therefore transferred to the Netherlands and live
as a discriminated and isolated minority. Many of them
sought a foothold in the notion of an independent South
Moluccan Republic. An idea that the Dutch government has
consistently refused to accept. In the 1970's, a number of
young South Moluccans responded to this rejection by
carrying out several terrorist acts that exacerbated the
Dutch racial problem.