Most Dutch don't know Belgian PM

14th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

14 October 2005, AMSTERDAM — Guy Verhofstadt has been prime minister of Belgium for the last six years, but 60 percent of the Dutch have no idea who heads the government in the neighbouring country.

14 October 2005

AMSTERDAM — Guy Verhofstadt has been prime minister of Belgium for the last six years, but 60 percent of the Dutch have no idea who heads the government in the neighbouring country.

Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt

Polling organisation TNS Nipo surveyed 836 Dutch people to mark the annual 'Week van Geschiedenis' (History Week) which begins on 29 October in the Netherlands. Reflecting this year's theme 'Buren' (neighbours), Nipo asked questions about Belgium and Germany.

When asked to name the Belgian prime minister, six out of 10 people had no idea.

About 7 percent thought one of Verhofstadt's predecessors was still at the helm. Names suggested included ex-prime ministers  Jean-Luc Dehaene (1992-1999) and Wilfried Martens  (1979-1992).

A curious suggestion for Belgium's leader was Gerhard Schröder, the outgoing chancellor of Germany. Another suggestion was 'piekhaar' (spiky hair), apparently a reference to Verhofstadt's hair style.

Nipo carried out the survey on behalf of the organisers of history week, magazine 'Historisch Nieuwsblad', newspaper 'Volkskrant' and historic association 'Anno'.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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