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Yearbook 1996

Netherlands. The changing political and military situation in Europe has consequences in many different areas. In the Netherlands, in 1996 it led to the abolition of the general military duty. The Armed Forces have gradually been given other tasks and are now mainly focused on peacekeeping efforts. The young people who will not be doing their military service in the future, like everywhere else in Europe, will enter a tough labor market.

1996 Netherlands

According to, the government initiated early cuts in the very generous welfare system, and the social partners contributed to the development of a division of labor with high flexibility. The benefits of this were clearly shown in 1996. Economic growth was relatively good, and open unemployment fell in 1996 to just over 8%. The aircraft manufacturer Fokker's bankruptcy, which entailed the release of more than 5,500 people, therefore did not lead to any acute crisis. The government has also been able to implement substantial cuts in public spending and reduce the budget deficit. The Netherlands is thus one of the countries expected to meet the requirements for membership of the Economic and Monetary Union EMU 1999.

After increasing pressure from neighboring countries, Parliament decided to tighten up some of the extremely liberal drug legislation. The number of cafes that have the right to sell marijuana should be reduced to 1,000 and the amount that may be sold is reduced from 30 to 5 grams per person.

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