NETHERLANDS: NETHERLANDS REACTS STRONGLY TO FRENCH ALLEGATIONS THAT IT IS A DRUGS STATE
- Title: NETHERLANDS: NETHERLANDS REACTS STRONGLY TO FRENCH ALLEGATIONS THAT IT IS A DRUGS STATE
- Date: 21st March 1996
- Summary: HAGUE, NETHERLANDS (MARCH 21, 1996) RTV - ACCESS ALL 1. EXTERIOR "SMOKEYS" COFFEE SHOP (2 SHOTS) 0.07 2. INTERIOR COFFEE SHOP (3 SHOTS) 0.21 3. SCU MAN PREPARING AND ROLLING JOINT WITH CANNABIS / TEA (4 SHOTS) 0.42 4. SV MAN LIGHTING UP JOINT 0.51 5. INTERIOR PARLIAMENT, VARIOUS VIEWS DRUGS DEBATE IN PROCESS (7 SHOTS) 1.16 6. SV MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT (SOCIALIST) GERRIT VAN DE OVEN AFTER DEBATE SAYING WE HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO USE CANNABIS BUT THEY SEEM TO DO THAT WITH NO PROBLEMS. SO THERE IS REASON TO CONTINUE OUR POLICY BUT AT THE SAME TIME WE SHOULD RESPECT OTHER THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS PROBLEM IN OTHER COUNTRIES, AND RESPECT THE POLICY OF OTHER COUNTRIES. SO WE ARE UNDER OBLIGATION ESPECIALLY TO FIGHT THE EXPORTATION OF DRUGS TO TO OTHER COUNTRIES. (ENGLISH) 1.54 7. EXTERIOR "DIZZY DUCK" CAFE (2 SHOTS) 2.02 8. SV/SCU BRITISH MAN IN CAFE SAYING I HAVE BEEN TO QUITE A FEW OTHER COUNTRIES IN EUROPE AND THERE PEOPLE STAND ON STREET CORNERS AND TRY TO SELL YOU ANYTHING. HERE IT'S CONTROLLED. PEOPLE OVER EIGHTEEN ARE ALLOWED TO COME INTO COFFEE SHOPS AND ALLOWED TO HAVE A FEW JOINTS JUST THE SAME AS OTHER PEOPLE GO INTO A PUB AND I THINK THE DUTCH COULD HELP OTHER PEOPLE WITH THE PROBLEMS THEY HAVE, OTHER COUNTRIES CAN LEARN FROM HOLLAND (ENGLISH) (3 SHOTS) 2.32 9. SV MAN SAYING I THINK IT'S RIDICULOUS THAT THEY'RE MAKING THESE CHARGES AND ALLEGATIONS OR DEMANDING THEM TO CHANGE WHILE THEY THEMSELVES HAVE MORE PROBLEMS WITH DRUGS IN THEIR OWN COUNTRIES THAN HOLLAND. THE FRENCH HAVE THE HIGHEST RATE OF ALCOHOLISM IN ALL OF EUROPE (ENGLISH) 2.50 10. GV PEOPLE IN CAFE 2.54 11. SCU MAN SMOKING JOINT 3.00 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Reuters ID: LVA8K3DS2BY81F4S942V2H9MZ0IZ
- Location: HAGUE, NETHERLANDS
- Country: Netherlands
- Duration: 00:02:55
- Story Text: INTRO: The Netherlands on Friday reacted angrily to French allegations that it is a "drug state".
-------------------------------------------------------------------- France and the Netherlands stepped up a war of words over The Hague's liberal narcotics laws on Thursday (March 21) after the author of an official French report branded the Netherlands a potential "drugs state".
Dutch Foreign Minister Hans van Mierlo angrily rejected the report, telling Dutch television: "From no state or government will I accept the expression 'drugs state' as referring to the Netherlands." The French Senator who wrote the study, Paul Masson, blasted the easy availability of drugs in the Netherlands as a major barrier to implementing a seven-nation open-borders pact in the European Union.
"The Netherlands should not continue its liberal policies because that raises fears about the creation of a drugs state in Europe," Masson told Reuters.
Masson is a member of French Prime Minister Alain Juppe's conservative RPR party, told Reuters.
The report was commissioned by Juppe.
Masson told Reuters his report did not say the Netherlands was now a "drugs state", but had the potential to become one.
Paris has recently stepped up its campaign against the Dutch laws in an effort to influence The Hague while the Dutch parliament debates the country's 20-year-old drugs experiment.
France delayed full implementation of the deal that went into force in March 1995, saying it feared drug trafficking and terrorist attacks.
Drugs are illegal in the Netherlands, but modest amounts of cannabis may be openly bought in so-called coffee-shops and police routinely ignore the possession of small quantities of heroin and cocaine.
In its current debate, the Dutch parliament is expected to agree small changes, reducing the number of coffee-shops and clamping down on tourists arriving to buy drugs. But it is not expected to abandon the basic tenet that tolerates soft drugs and refuses to criminalise drug addicts.
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- Embargoed:5th April 1996 13:00
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