News Summary: Compromising in crisis helps Dutch

News Summary: Dutch model of shared pain helps country agree on austerity in economic downturn

Associated Press

IN TOGETHER: The compromise culture of the Dutch has political parties, trade unions and officials focused on cutting deals and sharing pain in tough economic times.

POLDERING: The "Polder Model" seeks to divvy up the inevitable suffering in a way that feels fair to all. Employers agree to limit job cuts, workers agree to pay cuts without strikes and the government builds public support for tax hikes and spending cuts by distributing them evenly.

HISTORY: The name comes from sharing the costs of maintaining the system of windmills and dikes that protect the low-lying country from floods and turned marshes into dry farmland known as "polders."

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