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New Netherlands government to cut budget by16 billion euro,will continue strict immigration laws and ditches proposed controls on 'weed' use

Amsterdam Marijuana Tourism Alive and Well
The two parties forming the new Dutch Government including the center-right Liberal party of Mark Rutte and the center-left Labor party, led by Diederik Samsom have reached a coalition agreement that will pursue pro-European policies with an emphasis on austerity – stated it will cut 16 billion euro in government spending in the health care, social security and educational sectors.

As to the Netherlands immigration policies, including the 2007 treaties that govern Bulgarian and Romanian accession to the EU, which provided for a seven-year transition period before nationals of those countries would obtain full access to the labor markets of other EU member states, the new Dutch Government said it will remain among those EU states that plan to maintain the restrictions for the entire 7 year transition period which ends in 2014.

The incoming new Dutch government has also ditched plans by the previous government for a national "weed pass" that would have been available only to Dutch residents and that would have effectively banned tourists from Amsterdam's and many other cities in the Netherlands with marijuana cafes.

However, under a provisional governing pact unveiled this week, cities can still bar foreigners and tourists from weed shops but only if they so choose.

The pact says that it wants only Dutch residents to have access to marijuana cafes, but leaves final enforcement up to local cities governing bodies. Amsterdam which has a very lucrative red-light district with large numbers of marijuana cafes, or coffee shops as they are called in Holland, opposes any ban which would hurt the Amsterdam tourist industry..

Some cafe owners said Tuesday that they are satisfied Dutch weed policy will remain unchanged, while others criticized the lack of clarity.

Marijuana trafficking is technically illegal in the Netherlands, but people can't be prosecuted for possession of small amounts and the drug is sold openly in designated and licensed coffee shops.


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