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Amsterdam, Alkmaar, Katwijk residents also voting in referendums today


Amsterdam, Alkmaar, Katwijk residents also voting in referendums today

Netherlands residents are voting in the European Parliament elections on Thursday. But residents of Amsterdam, Alkmaar, and Katwijk are also voting in referenda on green space, fireworks, and paid parking, respectively.

The referendum in Amsterdam—the first city-wide referendum in the capital in 20 years—concerns the city council’s plans for the “Main Green Structure.” The plan lists green areas that must be protected and can’t be built on. But Amsterdam residents worry that the plans don’t offer as much protection as they say because there are too many exceptions for when the construction ban can be ignored.

The referendum in Alkmaar concerns the city’s plan to ban fireworks. People voting “in favor” in the referendum support the general fireworks ban.

The Katwijk referendum concerns building more affordable housing by expanding paid parking. Those voting “in favor” here support the municipality’s plan to charge for parking in more places and use that money to help fund more affordable housing.

The referenda are not binding and serve as advice to the municipal councils. They can choose to ignore the outcome.

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