Right said Fred, let’s go Dutch

It was a rare setback for Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin when ABN Amro snubbed his consortium's bid for the bank. But the straight talker from Paisley will not stand by and watch Barclays take the prize. (more…)  More >


Healthy sums

Health minister Ab Klink has barely been in the job for a couple of months, and he is already coming up with schemes which must have the health insurance companies saying ‘oh no, not again’. (more…)  More >


Lelystad

How clever of transport minister Camiel Eurlings to suggest Amsterdam’s Schiphol shifts some four million passengers a year to the regional airport at Lelystad. It’s a crafty scheme. (more…)  More >


Cruijff

He’s more famous than Vincent van Gogh. His eccentric use of language is as legendary as his football skills. Johan Cruijff, the best Dutch footballer ever, is 60 today. (more…)  More >


Bad sport

So junior sports minister Jet Bussemaker plans to take action against aggression, discrimination and over-consumption of alcohol in sport, does she? It is a noble aim indeed, but perhaps an impossible one. It's partly the nature of the beast. (more…)  More >


Happy?

The shareholders in British hedge fund TCI must be rubbing their hands with glee now that the prospect of a bidding war between Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland for ABN Amro is opening up. Barclays and ABN Amro announced this morning that they have reached agreement on a merger: a deal which pushed up ABN Amro shares to over €36. (more…)  More >


Police controls

Last night the police carried out another massive control on drink-driving at seven different locations. In total 6,000 cars were directed off the main road and their drivers breathalysed. But only 27 of them were cautioned having ‘one for the road’ too many drinks and just five had their licences confiscated. A grand haul indeed for such a major police effort. (more…)  More >


S-Day

You must be nice to your secretary today. Tomorrow, next week, the rest of the year, you can go back to treating her (so how many male secretaries do you know?) like dirt, but today is National Secretary Day. (more…)  More >


Cartels

Heineken was fined over €200m by the European Commission today for price fixing and market rigging together with two other Dutch and one Belgian breweries. Heineken is probably laughing all the way to the bank. (more…)  More >


Compromise

After earning themselves the reputation of being the bad boys of Europe, the Dutch now seem to be on their way to re-inventing themselves as peacemakers. Yesterday's endorsement of the Dutch stand on the EU constitution by the big-mouthed Brits is an important feather in Jan Peter Balkenende's cap. (more…)  More >


Childish

Hedge funds and private equity groups have managed to earn themselves a reputation for being locusts – descending on a company, eating it bare and them leaving for pastures new. (more…)  More >


Milk it

Dairy company Campina launched a massive publicity campaign yesterday for its new ‘even healthier’ milk. This new milk has, apparently, 20% less saturated-fats and is being produced by giving cows ‘special food’ in addition to their normal diet of grass. (more…)  More >


Animal crackers

Four former and current Dutch directors of the Amsterdam-based European stock exchange Euronext have had their cars and houses vandalised by animal rights activists. Their email inboxes are also probably full of hate mail. (more…)  More >