© Oliver-marc Steffen

Here’s a classic Catch-22: the Iron Rhine is the rail link, dating back to the 19th century, between Germany and the Belgian port of Antwerp, which also passes through the Netherlands. (Incidentally, the agreement to originally build the link was part of the Treaty of Belgium in 1839 in which the independence of the country was established. However, use of the line declined to virtually nothing by the early 1990s). Now, the Belgians and Germans want to bring it back into operation, but that will require investment on the part of the Dutch government, which would lead to increased competition to Rotterdam and is clearly against national interest.

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