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Hundreds of students protest in Amsterdam for a wider basic grant

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Hundreds of students gathered on Dam Square in Amsterdam on Saturday to protest for a wider basic grant. They also want students who studied under the loan system to receive more compensation. The money that must be made available for this should not be at the expense of the education budget, according to the students.

The students, many dressed in red, shouted the slogan “What do we want? Debt free!” The protesters carried signs with texts such as “Compensatory for the unlucky generation” and “I am in the red.” One of those present says she is demonstrating because she has been “tapped by the government.” She has a student loan and does not want to pay interest on it, nor does she want her debt to be registered.

Spoken word artist Rachad Debdoubi spoke on stage of a “disgusting and ugly student debt” and said “the loan system is a facade.” Several politicians were also given the floor about student debts and the basic grant. Laurens Dassen of Volt, for example, said that students should be fairly compensated for “the scandal that has happened to you in recent years.”

Stephan van Baarle of DENK said he wants to work towards canceling these student debts. “We now have young people who can’t work on their future because of the rotten policy.” According to Sylvana Simons of BIJ1, “we must not forget that these measures affect the very weakest.”

The protest was organized by FNV Young & United and the National Student Union (LSVb) and started on Dam Square. Organizers say between 1,000 and 2,000 people joined the march. The demonstrators are marching through the city from Dam Square. The demonstration will end later in the day back on Dam Square with music.

In February, students also protested against what they see as low compensation for the loan system.



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