Majority of Dutch support culture cuts
Six in ten Dutch citizens support wide-ranging budget cuts to the culture sector, an opinion poll has revealed. The rightwing minority coalition wants to reduce government expenditure on culture by 200 million euors over the next 18 months.
Pollster Maurice de Hond's figures, which were published on Sunday, show that 36 percent of those questioned said they hoped a future government would reverse the budget cuts. A statement that the Netherlands has spent too much on culture over past years was supported by a 60-percent majority of interviewees.
On closer inspection, support for the budget reductions differs according to the political orientation of interviewees. Just 25 percent of the Green Left party supporters agree with the slimming down of the culture sector, whereas 86 percent of Geert Wilders' populist anti-Islam Freedom Party PVV agree with the slashing of arts subsidies.
Actual participation in cultural activities shows a similar spread across the political spectrum, with three-quarters of leftist democrat party D66 voters having visited a museum in the past year, against a quarter of PVV supporters. On average, 48 percent of the population has been to a museum in the past year, while just 8 percent went to the opera.
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