From the towering offices of Rotterdam’s port authority, you can watch the never-ending stream of barges begin their river journeys to the Rhine and points across Europe, carrying anything from Chinese microwave ovens to iron ore from Brazil.
The city that spreads below boasts Europe’s biggest port, which is dependent upon the globalized economy for its success and 130,000 jobs. And yet, this North Sea gateway to the world is also the birthplace of the anti-globalization, anti-immigrant and anti-Islam movement that is on course to place first in Dutch elections on March 15.
The appeal of its current leader, the peroxide blond Geert Wilders, seems a paradox even in the age of U.S. President Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen, the nationalist leading the polls in France. For centuries the Netherlands has been a byword for liberalism, religious tolerance and openness to trade. The economy is strong and egalitarian compared to most of the world. Yet Wilders has tapped into deep fears among many low-skilled workers over their jobs in a world of rapid technological change –- even those who depend on global trade pioneered by the Dutch.
This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.