The Dutch Government has threatened to use police and military vessels to break up a blockade of Dutch ports and waterways being conducted by barge skippers.
LV PAN & GV PAN Ships in Rotterdam harbour waiting for free passage (2 shots)
SV PAN & MV Ships in harbour (4 shots)
CU, LV & GV PAN Swiss boats in harbour (3 shots)
GV Sign, Holland River Line
GV & MV Police boat (2 shots) TILT UP TO LV PAN OF Boats blockading harbour (2 shots)
Initials CL/0200 CL/0210
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Background: The Dutch Government has threatened to use police and military vessels to break up a blockade of Dutch ports and waterways being conducted by barge skippers.
The skippers are protesting a government plan to reduce the number of barges. Some 2,000 inland ships have been participating in the blockade, which at one point included the world's largest harbour, Rotterdam.
After an urgent plea by rotterdam's Mayor, the barges were removed from the Rotterdam harbour but the blockade is continuing elsewhere.
The Government says the blockade of the Rhine, seaports and waterways has inflicted serious damage on trade and the national economy and must be stopped. It says the skippers are using methods "out of proportion to their objectives".
City mayors in the area of Rotterdam turned to the Government for help. Already police and Navy boats had been put at their disposal.
The skippers have vowed to continue their blockade of ports and waterways outside of Rotterdam.
SYNOPSIS: The harbour of Rotterdam in Holland ... the world's largest ... blockaded by protesting barge skippers. The skippers are protesting planned legislation by the Dutch Government to reduce the number of barges on the country's inland waterways. The skippers were also blocking the Rhine and other waterways and ports. Two thousands inland ships have been blockading since Monday.
Many foreign boats are idled by the protest ... and the Government has said it is doing serious harm to trade and the national economy. It claims the skippers are acting out of proportion to their objectives.
It has threatened to use police and Navy vessels to smash through the blockade if it's not lifted. At the request of the Mayor of Rotterdam, the skippers cleared the blockade there on Tuesday ... but have vowed to continue their protest elsewhere.