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De Volkskrant - Netherlands | Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fanatics have ruined Dutch St. Nicholas fest

The controversial figure "Black Pete" will be allowed to continue featuring in the traditional St. Nicholas festivities in the Netherlands following a ruling by the country's highest administrative court in The Hague. But this won't be the end of the racism debate over St. Nicholas's black helper, the left-liberal daily De Volkskrant complains: "All that can be said about 'Black Pete' has now been said. All that happens in the debate is that old arguments - or their different interpretations - are reinforced. Fanatical supporters of St. Nicholas's helper are contributing just as much to the downfall of this figure as its opponents. ... The erstwhile unbiased, salutary and conciliatory St. Nicholas festivities have now taken on a meaning they should never have had - thanks to the fanatics on both sides who have no faith in the flexibility of a vital tradition."

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