UPDATE to this post.
This Friday the appeal court in Groningen ruled the owners of cafe 'De Kachel' not guilty of breaking the ban on smoking. This is the second time that an appeal court ruled against the smoking ban, the first time last May, when the Breda appeal court gave a similar ruling with regard to cafe Victoria.
Normally, this would mean the ban is 'dead in the water'. But EUnion treaty obligations demand otherwise: Health minister Klink will now 'adjust' the law (NL) to keep the ban in place. With the prospect of a multimillion euro claim, which would make the embarrassment for the government that much worse, the chances of finally overturning and/or scrapping this highly unpopular law are slim.
But this saga does bring into focus why the gap between The Hague and the general populace exists. The EUnion and by extension our local government won't (because they can't) admit defeat. They are here to rule, and we are here to listen. No matter how daft or unpopular the measures taken. Stubbornly they press on with their pet projects, seemingly oblivious to the contempt, scorn and naked hatred they heap upon themselves by doing so.
Which is why, in the end, they will end up being shot by the population they sought to rule...