The streets of Amsterdam look quite typical on Wednesday morning, with hazy skies reflecting in the canals and groups of tourists walking down narrow stone-paved streets. But some details look strikingly different. Police helicopter is patrolling the sky and State Secretary for the Interior Raymond Knops is in the studio of the morning TV show to talk about the aftermath of the Monday Utrecht tram attack.
Police helicopter patrolling the sky, icreased police presence at the Amsterdam Central railway station. After the recent Utrecht tram attack, the Dutch are on high alert. pic.twitter.com/RT9KYHnm3f— Denis Bolotsky (@BolotskySputnik) 20 марта 2019 г.
Many Amsterdam commuters stop by to cast their ballot right at the city’s central train station. Curt Simons is the chairman of the Amsterdam Central polling station. He told Sputnik that the turnout in the morning hours was unusually high:
“It’s quite busy, I wasn’t expecting that much people already, but it seems like people really want to vote today. I can’t really say what’s the reason for that: maybe it’s not raining, and maybe also what happened on Monday in Utrecht – maybe that gives people more reason to vote.”
The shooting, which left 3 people dead in the city of Utrecht caused outrage around the world. The suspect – a 37-year-old Turkey-born Gokmen Tanis, had a long criminal record, which included illegal possession of a firearm, accusations of rape and manslaughter.
High voter turnout at the polling station inside Amsterdam Central railway station. Chairman told me that perhaps Monday's Utrecht train attack gave people additional reason to go and cast their ballots. pic.twitter.com/PrdgKVSI43— Denis Bolotsky (@BolotskySputnik) 20 марта 2019 г.
The leader of Holland’s nationalist Party for Freedom Geert Wilders said that the incident is a direct consequence of the country’s mass immigration, slamming the ruling People’s Party of Freedom and Democracy, the Labor Party, and the government “for letting these types of people in”.
Voters in the country side, including the Province of North Brabant, remained mainly unaffected by Wilders' rhetoric.
One of the most picturesque and exotic election-related locales ever – the Kerkhovense Mill in Holland’s North Brabant. The Mill is actually functioning, while voters cast their ballots at the polling station on the ground floor, right in the store which sells local produce. pic.twitter.com/psgk8qKOTD— Denis Bolotsky (@BolotskySputnik) 20 марта 2019 г.
The Kerkhovense Mill is a unique landmark in the North Brabant Province, where the functioning windmill has been hosting the local polling station for more than 15 years. Betty, the store keeper sells local produce – bread, cookies, eggs from nearby farm.
“These elections are very important” – Betty says – “Today is the provincial election, but it appears that eventually the government will lose the majority in the Senate and after Monday’s incident we’re going to see a totally different outcome of the elections.”
“We have to stay strong, and I hope that “the two parties on the right”– they will not “survive” the vote.“