Austerity has hit voting in the Netherlands, as Dutch people take to the polls today in an election dampened by cost-cutting measures.
Mindful of the eurozone debt crisis, authorities issued strict rules regarding spending on campaigning events and materials in an effort to avoid extravagance and to save public money.
The main sticking points for any parties in the next coalition government will be the country’s relationship with the EU and austerity.
“There are very strong divisions on these issues, in the context of economic crisis, and in the context of a variety of crises in Europe of the euro and sovereignty debt, you see a very strong increase on both poles of the political spectrum,” said Associate Professor at Amsterdam University Burgoon Brian.
Despite being a founding member of the EU, support for it has fallen in the Netherlands, with the speed and breadth of integration worrying some people.
The previous coalition collapsed when the government tried to follow EU rules on budget deficits.
In addition, the Dutch are losing patience with the weaker eurozone members and most are opposed stumping up cash for further bailouts.