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Yearbook 2001

Netherlands. On New Year's Eve, a fire broke out in a crowded disco in Volendam, probably since Santa Claus ignited Christmas decorations. A total of eleven young people perished due to the fire and 180 were injured. According to Countryaah, the tragedy sparked debate about the safety of public premises, especially as it turned out that only one emergency exit was open when the accident occurred.

2001 Netherlands

In March, the first cases of dreaded foot-and-mouth disease were found in cows and sheep. The government decided to vaccinate animals, unlike in the United Kingdom where the disease was first discovered and where mass slaughter was instead used. The EU banned the export of cloven animals and meat products.

In April, violent outbreaks erupted near the village of Kootwijkerbroek when farmers protested the slaughter that was being ordered where infected animals were discovered. Kravall police were forced to take on water cannons, excavators and dogs to get through barriers. In total, 26 cases of the disease were found in the country before the danger blew over in July and export restrictions were lifted. About 265,000 animals were then slaughtered for prevention.

In April, the Netherlands became the first in the world to give gay couples the right to marry under the same conditions as heterosexuals, even in the case of eg. adoption and divorce. However, the law only applied to the nation's citizens. In addition, the Senate finally approved the law that made the Netherlands the first country in the world where euthanasia became legal and would start to apply from the turn of the year. Thus, in practice, what has already been practiced for decades in the country was formalized.

In August, Prime Minister Wim Kok announced that he did not intend to run for a third term in the 2002 elections.

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