AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Windmills, tulips and wooden shoes may be among the m。ost belove。d emblems of the Netherlands, but they are symbols the Dut。ch government is trying to avoid as it takes up the EU presidency, local media said on Tuesday.
The government decided such symbols were too "corny" and would det。ract from the image of the Netherlands th。at Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende wants to project.
A spokes。man for Dutch European Affairs Minister Atzo Nicolai was quoted as sayin。g that tulips and w。ooden shoes might be seen as "nice, but totally nutty". In place of those symbols, the Dutch emble。m for the EU presidency will incorporate the letters "NL" and the national colors -- red, white, blue and orange -- in a design that spells out "EU".
Balkenende's government, however, has decided to embrace at least one traditional Dutch symbol. As thank-you g。ifts t。o journa。lists and others, it will hand out painted tins of stroopwafel。s, sweets made of waffles and caramel, and a Dutch favorite.