Protesters detained as President Macron visits Amsterdam on second day of Holland trip

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Dutch police arrested two protesters who ran shouting slogans at French President Emmanuel Macron outside the University of Amsterdam on Wednesday, a police spokesman said.

“Even if we don’t like President Macron, we are here for the honor of workers and a better world.”

Protesters ran towards Macron, were tackled to the ground and knocked over a uniformed man, according to social media images.

The incident happened shortly after the French president stepped out of a limousine with Dutch King Willem-Alexander and was greeted by Femke Halsema, the mayor of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam police spokesman Lex van Liebergen told French news agency AFP: “We have arrested two protesters for running towards the president. They have disturbed public order. and acted threateningly,” he said.

“It was men and women, protesters. One of them was holding a banner.”

There was another small group of demonstrators, but it was not clear if they were related to the arrested protesters, she added.

The Amsterdam incident was the second uproar in two days after protesters heckled Macron during his speech about European sovereignty at a theater in The Hague on Tuesday.

Europe’s future

On Tuesday, protesters rioted and confused French President Emmanuel Macron as he began his speech about Europe’s future.

“Where is French democracy?” Banner-waving demonstrations by President Macron as he addresses a largely student audience at a theater in The Hague, facing violent protests at home over pension reform Participants cried.

The first state visit to the Netherlands by a French president in 23 years has also been hit hard by controversy surrounding Macron’s controversial remarks about Taiwan, the United States and China.

After pushing for signature pension reforms, including raising the retirement age from 62 to 64, Macron faces his biggest challenge in his second term.

Protesters stood on the upper floors of the theater, holding banners reading “President of Violence and Hypocrisy” and shouting “Millions of protesters in the streets”.

After security forces escorted them out, President Macron cited the 2021 riot at the US Capitol and the 2023 attack on the Brazilian parliament to undermine the laws passed by the elected government. Those who try, he said, “endanger democracy.”

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands praised the 45-year-old French president at a state dinner in Amsterdam, and the pomp and ceremony of the visit nevertheless continued.

‘Reform is not easy’

“Reform isn’t easy,” the monarch toasted guests after eating asparagus soup with gray shrimp, beef tornado in red wine sauce, and a dessert made of traditional Dutch sweets.

“For us, for Europe and for the whole world, it is essential that France is strong, prosperous and confident.”

Macron’s speech made no mention of Taiwan, instead sticking to the theme that Europe needs to defend its own interests.

Macron said “becoming more sovereign” is “important in this period of war and the economy is weaponized” due to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian war “was probably the beginning of the most dangerous era for the European Union,” he added.

Mr Macron recently sparked controversy after stating in an interview with the media: Politico and French Business Daily Les Echoes When it comes to Taiwan, Europe should not be a “follower” of the US or China.

The remarks drew praise in China, which resented US support for a nationalist island that China considers an isolated state, but raised eyebrows among its Western allies.

Vermeer visit

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the alliance with the United States was the “absolute foundation” of Europe’s security.

Meanwhile, US Senator Marco Rubio said on Twitter: “We need to see if Emmanuel Macron is representing Europe.”

Also, in a rambling interview with Fox News, former US President Donald Trump said that since his resignation, “My friend Macron is done with China and kissing his ass.” He said the United States had lost its influence in the world. .

The Élysée Palace said Tuesday that the president has never asked Europe to keep an “equidistant” distance from the United States and China.

President Macron’s visit to the Netherlands continues on Wednesday, when he visits an exhibition of painter Johannes Vermeer’s work at the Rijksmuseum and meets Prime Minister Mark Rutte on a canal boat.

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam with Vermeer exhibition. ©Patricia Moribe/RFI

President Macron will also visit the Science Park to sign an “innovation pact” focused on cooperation in semiconductor research, quantum physics and energy.

Macron’s visit aims to highlight the emerging dynamics between Paris and The Hague after Brexit, when the Netherlands has lost its strongest ally in Europe.

The Netherlands and France will also work to conclude a defense agreement by 2024.

(with news agency) Protesters detained as President Macron visits Amsterdam on second day of Holland trip

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