21:12 5 May 2021
Post by: WBJ

Ambassador of Netherlands about vaccine race, economy and women’s rights

Top diplomats in Warsaw told the WBJ about the vaccine race, economy, and women’s rights. One of them is Daphne Bergsma, The Netherlands ambassador

Ambassador of Netherlands about vaccine race, economy and women’s rights

How successful has the Covid-19 vaccine drive been in your country?

In January, our government started vaccinating the population against Covid-19. In the second half of February, the milestone of 1 million vaccinations was reached, and hopefully, the two-million mark can be reached by mid-March. Our health minister is now developing an even larger-scale vaccination program, which would enable a vaccination rate of 2.5 million people per week in the course of the second quarter of this year. However, as for other countries, the success of this strategy will now mainly depend on the availability of vaccines.

What is the economic forecast for your country for the first half of 2021?

In 2020, Dutch GDP contracted by 3.8 percent. That is slightly more than the 3.7 percent by which our GDP decreased in 2008 at the height of the financial crisis. In Q4 2020, the contraction was 0.1 percent of GDP, compared to the preceding quarter. The reimposition of restrictions in response to the resurgence of the virus and its impact on, among other things, private consumption and investment, however, will most likely prevent a substantial return to growth until mid-2021. Depending on the success in controlling the virus our economy is now forecast to grow by 1.8 percent in 2021.

In light of the recent near-total abortion ban in Poland, how strong are women's rights in your country?

The Netherlands is in this regard considered a liberal country. Pregnant women can choose to terminate their pregnancy because of unintentional pregnancy or for medical reasons. A consultation with a doctor is mandatory, followed by a five-day reflection period unless the pregnancy is no older than 16 days. The choice of termination of the pregnancy must be voluntary. Abortion is allowed until the 24th week of pregnancy, in practice until the 22nd week. After that, abortion is only possible due to very serious medical reasons, for example, if the unborn are not “viable.”

the netherlands
daphne bergsma

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