Opinion pieces, columns and insights into Dutch news and current affairs from key commentators


Go on strike for a higher wage!

Go on strike for a higher wage!

White collar union De Unie has just said it will stop organising strikes in support of its demands. Economist Mathijs Bouman thinks unions shouldn’t be rigid but to give up the right to strike is going just that little bit too far. Reinier Castelein is a civilised person. Dressed in banker’s pinstripes, an in-house...  More >


MH17: the Blame Game

MH17: the Blame Game

Could the downing of the MH17 have been avoided? Now that it has become known that the civil service had ‘official’ knowledge of the dangers of Ukrainian airspace, Christ Klep explains why the Dutch government did not acknowledge its responsibility.   And so it happened that the question of blame shifted...  More >


God: ‘Up here everyone calls me Charlie’

God: ‘Up here everyone calls me Charlie’

Dutch writer and comedian Youp van 't Hek gives his take the terrorist attacks in Paris. When the internet was abuzz on Friday morning with the news that Fidel Castro had died, my thoughts immediately went out to the murdered cartoonists: no sooner have they arrived in some hereafter or other still in shock about having...  More >



Female executive quotas: Move over men ( it’s for your own good)

Female executive quotas: Move over men ( it’s for your own good)

The discussion about the lack of women in top jobs in the Netherlands rages every year and government minister Jet Bussemaker now says quotas may end up being inevitable. Indeed, a quota for female directors would make men better administrators, says sociologist Niraï Melis If all else fails, Dutch companies should...  More >


Africa has more to offer the world than ebola

Trendwatcher Farid Tabarki says it is time to forget Africa's troubles and look at the opportunities the continent offers instead. I’m counting on the fact that you donated your pennies during the Ebola crisis appeal over the past weeks.  Or did you go all out and by the 2014 version of Do they know it’s Christmas?...  More >


Blame it on the wigeon

Blame it on the wigeon

The bird flu outbreak may now be contained but that does not mean we can forget about it. After all, it is easier to blame the poor old wild ducks and geese than to eat less meat, says Joris Lohman of the Slow Food movement.   The bird flu outbreak introduced a relatively unknown danger to the public: the wigeon....  More >



Banking for the future: it’s all about reputation repair

Banking for the future: it’s all about reputation repair

Annemarie van Gaal blasts banks who sell unfathomable financial products like derivatives to entrepreneurs. Reputation repair. It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? I was reminded of it at a symposium called ‘Banking for the future’ held to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Dutch banking association NVB. Six years...  More >


Technical innovation requires social innovation

Technical innovation requires social innovation

A happy staff makes for economic growth so it is time that companies put some effort into social innovation, says Erasmus University professor Henk Volberda. Sending real-time videos without the aid of a satellite, a melon which goes from green to yellow in the final one-and-a-half days of ripening so growers know exactly...  More >