The current global political climate has numbed most people’s reactions to outrageous statements from politicians the world over.
And yet here we are discussing the possibility of one of Europe’s most liberal cities cutting itself free from the country it is capital of in order to uphold its diverse values.
That’s right, Amsterdam could decide to become the Republic of Amsterdam and leave Holland as a nation altogether on one condition.
Amsterdam alderwoman, Simone Kukenheim, has claimed that if Geert Wilders, leader of the far-right party in Holland, was to become Prime Minister, Amsterdam would look to become its own nation.
Ms Kukenheim, a member of the left-liberal D66 party and one of eight aldermen running Amsterdam alongside the mayor, said:
Rebellion fits our city perfectly. This means that as a diverse and tolerant city we should not hesitate to go against the national trend.
The people of Amsterdam should not be turned against each other. This we need to make clear. If we do not do this, we become part of the same climate.
Wilders’ party currently holds 12 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives in the Dutch Parliament but would need a majority of 75 to take full control of the house.
Though leading in the polls, the Party for Freedom is projected to win around 30-35 seats in the upcoming elections and no other party has yet thought about a possible coalition.
In a New Year’s reception, fellow D66 party member and city alderman Kajsa Ollongren said:
Wilders is going against everything that makes the Netherlands the Netherlands, and which makes Amsterdam Amsterdam.
He stands for goodbye to open society, goodbye to freedoms, goodbye to tolerance, goodbye to arts and culture, goodbye to the EU, goodbye to humanity and civilisation.
Even though the arrival of Wilders as Prime Minister or Minister may have never been this close before, the same counts for the founding of the Republic of Amsterdam.
Though a Wilders outright victory doesn’t look likely, almost everyone thought Brexit would never happen and Donald Trump wouldn’t get near the White House.
And yet look around you… Amsterdam becoming its very own country could be a real possibility.
Don’t rule it out just yet.