In just over three months time, all eyes will be on Rotterdam as Eurovision 2020 takes place in The Netherlands. However, while the attention for many will be on the contest and enjoying a week of festivities, the Dutch FNV labour union is planning on using Eurovision to draw attention to poverty in the city of Rotterdam. On Saturday 9th May, a week before the grand final, a major protest is planned.

“Rotterdam is the poorest city of the Netherlands”

“I think the Eurovision Song Contest is a bit decadent,” says Marcel Thomassen Rosa, a spokesperson of the FNV labour union. “Everyone is busy with the Eurovision Song Contest and all the bling-bling that comes with it, while Rotterdam is the poorest city of the Netherlands. And don’t forget the nearby city of Schiedam.”

According to Marcel Thomassen Rosa all permits to organise the so-called “poverty march” have been issued: “I think it is very important that we show the other side of The Netherlands. We are at the forefront of The Netherlands, but for the time being we are at the forefront of poverty.”

The demonstrators plan to march through the city centre of Rotterdam. Speeches will be held there, and music will be played. So far it is not clear how many people will protest and whether this will have major consequences for the Eurovision Song Contest and tourists in the city.

More critiques on the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam

Earlier last week, other negative reactions to the Eurovision Song Contest emerged. When the news was announced that the Eurovision Village for 2020 will be located in the Binnenrotte district of Rotterdam, many market traders were not so happy about this decision. They feel the Eurovision Song Contest has been prioritised by the municipality of Rotterdam over them.

A large market is organised on the Binnenrotte square every week, and is visited by around fifty thousand visitors on a “good Saturday”. However, during the Eurovision period it will be relocated to another location in Rotterdam. The Saturday market will be moved twice – resulting in a total loss of 1 million euros.

Mother’s Day also occurs during the Eurovision period. This would usually be a time in which market traders earn extra money from flowers and fresh fruit, but the relocation will increase their losses.

View this post on Instagram

? Hiep, hiep, hoera! Onze Markthal is vandaag 5 jaar ? ? . Sinds de opening op 1 oktober 2014 wordt de Markthal vaak op de ? gezet. Zo maakte @roijaards een paar dagen geleden deze prachtige foto ? . Ook trok de @markthal al meteen veel bezoekers ??? De eerste 3 weken kwamen er al 1 miljoen mensen langs, vlak daarna 5 miljoen en de teller staat nu op 38,5 miljoen! . Waarvoor bezoek jij graag de Markthal? ?????????? . . #repost #markthal #markthalrotterdam #ons010 #mooisterotstaddieeris #mooistefotovannederland #picoftheday #rotterdam #010 #night #010latenzien #nightphotography #lights #lichtjes #citylights #thisisrotterdam#jarig #birthday #verjaardag #happybirthday #party #hiephiephoera

A post shared by Rotterdam (@gemeenterotterdam) on

Ahoy Rotterdam, the host venue of Eurovision 2020

The Dutch city of Rotterdam will host the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, with the Ahoy Arena as the host venue.

Semi-final one will take place on the 12th May, semi-final two will take place on the 14th of May and the Grand Final will be on the 16th May. You can check here when your favourite country will perform.

What do you think of the protest? Do you think that people are disadvantaged by the Eurovision Song Contest? Let us know in the comment section down below!

Read more Eurovision news about The Netherlands here

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
43 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Danny Geske
Danny Geske
8 months ago

I was living in Rotterdam and can say, that I have seen many other dutch cities and Rotterdam is one of the best I have ever seen. You will find poverty in each bigger city, but Deventer or Haarlem are much poorer than our host city. This is only propagandism!

Marc
Marc
8 months ago

Rancore winner
Bye

eurofangr
eurofangr
8 months ago

ok, Hatari where are you, time to bring capitalism down

Meliris
Meliris
8 months ago
Reply to  eurofangr

I sure do miss them and the dutch need a spanking for inventing stockmarkets and multinationals!

Jonas
Jonas
8 months ago

In 2012, poor people had their homes swept aside and demolished just to facilitate the Crystal Hall. The EBU, an actual union, didn’t care. This is really nothing compared to that. Of course I wish anybody in poverty all the best, and which the protests the best of luck – but I’m not sure there’s any connection to the song contest.

Azaad
Azaad
8 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

That was definitely worse but Rotterdam workers have justifiable concerns too. Also we didn’t have protests in 2012 because I suspect Azerbaijan doesn’t have strong union protections and shuts down protests quickly

Jonas
Jonas
8 months ago
Reply to  Azaad

Sure, I wish this union and its members nothing but success, but it seems like they’re just hijacking the Eurovision for attention, even if they do have some valid general points.

Azaad
Azaad
8 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

That the protest is on the week before suggests at least some diplomacy on their part, which is why I’m quite sympathetic at this point.

Peter
Peter
8 months ago

Typically left wing party-pooping behaviour. The Netherlands has a social security system with relatively high allowances and still it isnt enough for our left-wing whiners. No one is left behind in the Netherlands.

Bigger
Bigger
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter

Maybe left wing type of policy from what you expect, but I can guarantee you, many voters for the populist far-right wing party PVV (Geert Wilders) complain about the costs too, and that the money better should be spent on the poor, the sick and the elderly. It’s really not only (small part of) the left wing which is complaining. Also, a lot of left wingers are super proud of Eurovision and encouraging to innovate; Ahoy is going to place a large solar roof, and people are encouraged to travel by train and recycle during the event. Those are just… Read more »

Marcelo
Marcelo
8 months ago
Reply to  Bigger

I would say populism…

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
8 months ago

They are of course free to protest within the law. However, it would not be smart to directly disrupt the contest, since, rather inconveniently, it might end up costing the protesters money (in compensation claims). On a different note, if Eurovision costs so much to run that it is making people poor, then by all means axe Eurovision. However, I am sceptical about the supposed relationship between Eurovision and poverty in a municipality. The problem would not seem to be Eurovision, but a lack of will or ability from the municipality itself to fix their issues in the first place.… Read more »

Frank Arthur
Frank Arthur
8 months ago

They call poor in Netherland to people what have apartament, food ,all basic things to live,and maybe 600 or 700 euros un the month,in many countrys who have this is looks like rich

poe-tay-toe chips
poe-tay-toe chips
8 months ago
Reply to  Frank Arthur

They have homeless people just like any other country. Please don’t pull this “they have it better than so many others” crap because some people there are genuinely barley even able to buy food and rent. Like any other government though the dutch government tries it’s hardest to hide that this is happening.

There’s no such thing as a country without poverty.

Peter
Peter
8 months ago

Poverty in Holland means you dont have three holidays. Please …. Holland is one of the richest countries in the world with one of the most generous social security systems. There is no hunger in Holland. And homelessness – if any – is usually related to psychological issues. FNV are simply a bunch of attention-seeking commies who do not know what poverty is.

Meliris
Meliris
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter

It is also a very expensive place to live in. Cost of living is much higher than in other countries.

Robert
Robert
8 months ago

Ohhh it all seemed to go so well without hick ups, I was wrong.. As a Dutch guy it makes me wanna put my head in the ground out of shame..

Ana
Ana
8 months ago
Reply to  Robert

Really? Read the articles about the 2019 organisation, if we in Israel were so over dramatic about some bad media we would be all with our heads under ground. And after all the “disasters” 2019 turned out as a pretty decent edition. Nothing is 100% perfect.

Roelof Meesters
Roelof Meesters
8 months ago

I bet that these people would not complain if say, the final of the Champions League would be hosted in Rotterdam. I don’t see the correlation between poor people in Rotterdam and hosting Eurovision.

poe-tay-toe chips
poe-tay-toe chips
8 months ago

If they have money to host eurovision, than they have money to help the poor. It’s not hard to understand.

I am willing to watch a simpler, less fancy Eurovision if it means that the money taken from budget would instead go to helping poorer families. Any decent human should agree with that.

Denis
Denis
8 months ago

OK, there are poor people everywhere in the world. Some really poor. Have this people been to Bangladesh? Or Balkans? Poor people there are really poor. Did you see other cities protesting ESC because of poverty?
It’s a two week event that will bring revenue and income to the country, stop complaining!

Iniade
Iniade
8 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Let them be the laughing stock of Europe.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
8 months ago

Also: I love the subheadline ‘Trouble in paradise’ in this context. Simple, apt and worth a chuckle.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
8 months ago

There are plenty of poor people in every rich country, too. Just because the country is rich doesn’t mean the people are rich. But surely, not hosting Eurovision wouldn’t make anyone richer, either.

Philip
Philip
8 months ago

typical european/western hypocrisy.. if the protest was about poverty in the world, as a symbol would have been okay, but for poverty in Rotterdam.. seriously?!?!? maybe people in bangladesh can send them some food or smth.. because obviously rotterdam is starving.. what a horrible beginning of the esc season

Alain
Alain
8 months ago
Reply to  Philip

comment image

WannaEatMySpaghetti
WannaEatMySpaghetti
8 months ago
Reply to  Philip

St*pid comment. Firstly, as said before, living in a rich country doesn’t mean everyone there is rich. There are homeless people everywhere. Secondly, keep the “typical european/western hypocrisy” for yourself. Not everyone in every targeted country is like this + fighting against the poverty in your home country doesn’t mean you don’t realize that other countries are even poorer. The money used is from The Netherlands, not Bangladesh…
BUT I think they shouldn’t do that too. It won’t change anything and all they’ll receive is trouble with authorities.

BLAS
BLAS
8 months ago

Just saw recent statistics on homelessness in the Netherlands. It is on the rise indeed, but the largest group of homeless people in NL were born in Eastern Europe.

dutchie
dutchie
8 months ago

Don’t worry, nobody will show up for these marches 🙂 Just a cheap ploy to get some attention. And indeed, they would never pick a football match to do this, because football is holy.

Tajikistan
Tajikistan
8 months ago

Do they not realise that the contest will bring much more revenue to the city of Rotterdam?

Alex
Alex
8 months ago

*Laughs in Eastern European*

Teddie
Teddie
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex

Second that

Alain
Alain
8 months ago

Are these people aware what poverty is?

Bigger
Bigger
8 months ago

Edit: too long

But in general, the strike is not per se anti-Eurovision, but anti-everything that costs money. There is some kind of strange thought by many people, that “as long as I am poor and I don’t have joy in life, nobody else can have fun because that’s unfair”.

So some people are also against the Olympics, or the Champion Leagues or the F1 coming to the Netherlands. But I can guarantee that that is far from the majority. These people will be the proudest in May, if they see the images of Rotterdam going around the globe

Whisker
Whisker
8 months ago

Nobody took those small businesses concerns into consideration when made the decision on the host-city? Give them some compensation ffs.

I am not from Kazakhstan
I am not from Kazakhstan
8 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

There would be complaints no matter in which city the contest is held in.

I bet now Eurovision fans will visit that market, which have been relocated, as they know it exists due to these articles about it, so I think their revenue will only increase.

Harm
Harm
8 months ago

FNV should shut up. I am from the Netherlands and let us be proud to organize the Eurovision Song contest after 40 years and be proud of Duncan Laurence. Let’s enjoy these two weeks in May and stop complaining.

Raul Valero
Raul Valero
8 months ago

It’s their constitutional right to march. Also, Eurovision serves as a great window to the world… Shame on The Netherlands and every other country (almost all of them) whose workers are exploited and underpaid. Neither Eurovision nor any other international event, as much as we may like it, should be a pretext to “forget” all the important issues that plague our society. In fact, ESC artists should hold the right to back up those legitimate complaints, as Loreen did back in 2012. And she was threatened by the host broadcaster…

Whisker
Whisker
8 months ago
Reply to  Raul Valero

What was that about, I don’t recall? Human rights in the ‘host” country?

Sale
Sale
8 months ago

They should come to us Eastern Europeans and see what poverty is xD

Azaad
Azaad
8 months ago

Well it’s not like they’ll be invading the arena when the contest is occurring and to be fair the union members have an ECHR right to freedom of assembly

pepe
pepe
8 months ago

The new Feyenoord stadium is also a bit decadent. As is the police that is needed during some high profile matches. But I don’t expect them to protest against football.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
8 months ago
Reply to  pepe

That’s because the same people who are against eurovision in rotterdam are also the hardcore of feyenoord and they usually come out of the lower segments. You should see powneds interview on youtube if you’re dutch ‘https://youtu.be/6AVng0C2GME’
‘eurovision is receiving even more attention than our own feyenoord it’s outrageous’. Umm yeah that’s what you get when your club dead beat loses every game they play xD