Survey reveals majority support lockdown as riots break out across the Netherlands
Anti-coronavirus measures protests and riots in cities across the Netherlands would suggest the public has had enough of the lockdown and will not accept the national curfew. But a survey conducted by I&O Research has found that two-thirds of the population fully or largely support the government’s approach to the ongoing crisis.
Third night of riots across the Netherlands
Only the third night of national curfew, Monday marked the third consecutive night of riots across the Netherlands. At least 151 arrests were made as rioters looted shops, lit fires, and threw fireworks and rocks at police officers.
Riots in Den Bosch meant all public transport into the city centre was halted and police say a number of arrests were made. Similarly, Rotterdam saw between 150 and 200 rioters turn on police and loot a local supermarket and a drugstore, while Amsterdam saw another night of unrest, during which nine people were arrested. Arrests were also made as riots broke out in Haarlem, The Hague, Geleen, Helmond, Zwolle, Almelo, Breda, Veenendaal, and Tilburg.
Dutch mayors and politicians have once again voiced their shock and outrage at the continued violence. Ahmed Aboutaleb, mayor of Rotterdam, called the rioters “shameless thieves”: “I had to threaten them with tear gas, a far-reaching measure - something I have never had to do in my entire career as mayor.” Ernst Kuipers, chairman of the National Acute Care Network (LNAZ), has also voiced his disgust: “In the first lockdown there was applause for all our healthcare workers... now they are facing more and more aggression.”
Majority of people support the government’s coronavirus measures
According to I&O Research, 70 percent of survey respondents support the introduction of a curfew, while 75 percent fully or largely support the approach of the Dutch government. 48 percent feel that the current lockdown should be extended, and 29 percent feel the measures should be tightened further.
On the other hand, 7 percent feel the lockdown should be brought to an end. According to researcher Peter Kanne, those who oppose the lockdown are most likely to be Forum for Democracy (FvD) voters, followed by Party for Freedom (PVV) or Party for the Animals (PvdD) supporters.
The survey also revealed that the public opposed the government’s latest adjustment to daily household visitors more than the new curfew. Only 47 percent of respondents felt that a maximum of one household visitor per day was a good measure. The survey also found that the public was more affected by the household restrictions than the curfew (39 percent versus 11 percent).
I&O Research’s survey was commissioned by NOS, and asked a representative sample of 2.232 people in the Netherlands for their opinions on the national curfew, the lockdown, and the government’s new limit on household visits.