The pairing is sometimes called NethSpa, SpaNeth, HolSpa, SpaHol taken from the first few letters of their nation names (Netherlands or Holland and Spain). However, some fans also refer to this pairing as Othello Pair (オセロコンビ) or in Japanese fandom RanNishi (蘭西).
HistoryIt’s a very strong historical relationship because Netherlands was under Spanish rule for many years. At the beginning they lived together in harmony and trade relations between them have developed very well. Everything started to go bad after the abdication of Charles V.
During Philip's II reign, tensions flared in the Netherlands over heavy taxation, suppression of Protestantism, and centralisation efforts. The growing conflict reach a boiling point and led ultimately to the war of independence. The war lasted for eighty years and consisted of long-term peace and the time of intense fighting. The final victory belonged to the Netherlands. In 1609 was signed an armistice that ending the War of Independence. In 1648, Spain recognized Netherlands as an independent state. After the war, relations between the two countries are improving mainly because of trade that also developed during the war.
- Netherlands and Spain were often in alliances after Eighty Years War. For example, against France when the Spaniards commanded the Dutch fleet. The Dutch built ships also for Spain.
- They both took part in the War of Austrian Succession.
- The Netherlands took part in the War of Spanish Succession.
- They both took part in the naval battle of Malaga on opposite sides.
- They led a long fight for colonies.
CultureThese two countries also have cultural ties. Dutch Santa Claus arrives from Spain and is called Sinterklaas. This follows from the trade tradition which says that the Dutch believe that everything from the south comes to them from Spain. Due to the fact that many Spanish ships moored in their port and imported luxury and exotic products. Sinterklaas traditionally arrives in the Netherlands each year in mid-November (usually on a Saturday) by steamboat from Spain. Typical Sinterklaas treats traditionally include: hot chocolate, mandarin oranges, pepernoten, letter-shaped pastry filled with almond paste or chocolate letter (the first letter of the child's name made out of chocolate), speculaas (sometimes filled with almond paste), chocolate coins and marzipan figures. In the past, parents threatened their children, saying that Zwarte Piet (Sinterklaas's helper) put naughty children into a bag and take to Spain.
The Dutch national anthem was created during the Dutch Revolt. There are many references to Spain.
"William of Nassau am I, of Germanic descent; True to the fatherland I remain until death. Prince of Orange am I, free and fearless. To the King of Spain I have always given honour.
Nothing so moves my pity As 'seeing through these lands, Field, village, town and city Pillaged by roving hands. O that the Spaniards rape thee, My Netherlands so sweet, The thought of that does grip me Causing my heart to bleed.
Nothing makes me pity so much in my adversity, then that are seen to be impoverishing the good lands of the King That you are molested b'y the Spaniards, O Noble Netherlands sweet, when I think of that, my noble heart bleeds."Both of them have a talent for football. Pairing started to develop after FIFA World Cup in South Africa. In the final, Spain, the European champions, defeated third-time finalists the Netherlands 1– 0 after extra time, with Andrés Iniesta's goal in the 116th minute giving Spain their first world title, the first time that a European nation has won the tournament outside its home continent.
The Phoenicians called Spain - the land of rabbits, this is consistent with Dutch sympathy for breeding these animals.
Netherlands feared the accession of Spain to the European Union due to the export of tomatoes and a possible competition in this field. It turned out that they function together very well in this area.
At the present time these two have no reason to don’t like each other or be angry. There is no conflict between them but a lot of contacts, for example in sport. The Dutch often spend their holidays in Spain and the Spaniards like to spend their holiday in the Netherlands. Even manga shown that Netherlands spend time together with Spain in modern times.
MangaThe first time they were seen together in a strip Boss Spain & Chibi Romano where Netherlands refuses to eat a meal in the company of Spain. Next time Netherlands was shown when he’s watching quarrels between Spain and chibi!Romano still in the same chapter. In Volume 4 they appeared together several times. When the Netherlands wants to sell weapons and food to Spain, when Netherlands dressed as a reindeer and holds Spain and in Antonio’s house when Romano recalls moments when he was a graduate of Spain. They spent much time together during Christmas Rampage 2010. Spain came to Amsterdam to enjoy Christmas with the Netherlands. The Dutchman tells Spain continually to go home. When the shadow figures appear Netherlands tells Spain to go away, takes on a fighting position and tried to protect him. When he falls, Spain attempts to help Netherlands. He got himself a weapon and said “Leave (my) Netherlands alone!” but also failed. In the end, when the event is over, a half-naked, asleep, Spain is on top of Netherlands. Netherlands only comments are, "What the hell?”.
At the beginning of the Christmas event Antonio encouraged Netherlands to dressed up in Christmas costume for him. Their silhouette also appeared in the strip about the War of Austrian Succession, they were together in a picture of sleeping Tomato Gang, in the text of the European crisis and Import/Export map. Their relationship is also mentioned in the CD Drama and as well in the Spain’s old profile. The author has recently mentioned that they have the same body build. They also appeared in two unfinished strips. One of them shows how Spain trying to make friendly contact with the Netherlands. The second strip presents their Christmas dinner in the restaurant. Spain is very energetic and happy while the Netherlands radiates an evil aura. This is how they brought waiter to the tears.
Fans sometimes speculate that the scar on Netherlands's forhead is from Spain. As well as that Spain gave Netherlands the scarf when the latter was a teenager.