Speed skater Kjeld Nuis picks up his second gold medal of the Olympics

Speed skater Kjeld Nuis picks up his second gold medal of the Olympics

Dutch speed skater Kjeld Nuis picked up his second gold medal of the Winter Olympics on Friday with a convincing victory in the 1,000 metres. A week ago, the 28-year-old Dutchman, who is at his first Olympics, won gold in the 1,500 metres. Nuis, who was in the last race, completed the distance in 1.07.95. Silver went to Norway's Håvard Lorentzen, Olympic champion in the 500 meters and the bronze was picked up by Korea's Tae-Yun Kim. Nuis' second gold is the eighth for the Dutch team in total. In addition, the Dutch have six silver and four bronze medals and lie in fifth place in the medals table.   More >

Dutch get tough on shell companies

The American bald eagle has landed: Lady Maya back with her keeper The cabinet on Friday gave its approval to junior finance minister Menno Snel’s plan to crack down on the shell company industry in the Netherlands in line with international and EU agreements. ‘We are going to make serious work of tackling letter box firms,’ Snel said after the weekly cabinet meeting. ‘Only companies which actually bring jobs will be welcomed here with open arms.’ The measures, which were all outlined in the coalition agreement, include a commitment to bring in a tax on royalties from 2021. U2, the Rolling Stones and Starbucks are among the companies taking advantage of the Netherlands's current zero tax rate on royalties. The junior minister told radio station BNR that the ‘robust package’ of measures are aimed at giving a serious knock to the Netherlands’ reputation as a tax haven. The Netherlands has been grappling with its image as a tax haven for several years and the new government has pledged to get tougher on shell companies. Some 10,000 shell, or letter-box, companies are based in the Netherlands and are primarily used to shift corporate earnings and obscure ownership.  More >

The big freeze is about to hit NL

Holidaymakers head for the alps, but Siberian temperatures are set to hit NL Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to head for the alpine ski resorts or warmer climes on Friday and over the weekend, as the half term holidays start in the central and northern school districts. The ANWB motoring organisation expects 450,000 people to head for the snow, making this the busiest weekend of the winter season. Motorists are being urged to take blankets and plenty of food in their cars and to wrap up warm on the ski slopes, as Siberian winds move over Europe. According to the Telegraaf, the wind chill factor in the alps could take the temperatures to as low as -30 degrees in exposed areas. In the Netherlands itself, this weekend will be sunny everywhere, but chilly with night frosts. Next week, it is likely to remain below zero all day with temperatures as low as -10 degrees at night. And according to the KNMI's long-range forecast, the freezing temperatures could continue well into March. Friesland has already banned boating on some of the provinces lakes and rivers in an effort to help the ice grow.  More >

Dutch house prices go through the roof

The American bald eagle has landed: Lady Maya back with her keeper House prices in the Netherlands shot up by an average 8.2% in 2017, outpacing gains in the rest of western Europe with the exception of Portugal and Ireland. The survey of 17 countries by property valuation company Calcasa revealed that Dutch house prices rose almost 21% over the past three years. Calcasa carried out two separate studies, one covering a 3-year and the other a 5-year period. Prices in Ireland, Sweden and Portugal rose the most in both surveys. House prices did not rise as quickly in the Netherlands as in other European countries between 2012 and 2017, which Calcasa said, was a hangover from the 2008  economic crisis. Dutch property prices were still declining in 2012 and 2013. As a result, the price rise over five years was somewhat lower than in other countries, Calcasa said.   More >

Den Bosch museum to explore Nazi design

Den Bosch museum to show Nazi design in ‘long overdue’ exhibition The Stedelijk Museum in Den Bosch is planning an exhibition on Third Reich design in collaboration with the Deutsches Historisches Museum, its director Timo de Rijk has announced. This an area that needs to be part of the public discussion like the Dutch colonial past which gave rise to an exhibition on slavery at the Rijkmuseum, De Rijk said in an interview with the Volkskrant. ‘Everyone said it was about time. And it’s the same with Nazi design. If you want to show the history of design you can’t ignore what was happening in the 1930s and 1940s.’ The exhibition, he said, will be educational in character. ‘The question we are asking is: would the Nazis have been as successful if their design had not been so effective?’ De Rijk told the paper. Reactions to the plans have been mixed. According to Frank van Vree of Dutch institute for genocide studies NIOD, an exhibition about the aesthetic aspects of totalitarian movements can work. ‘People can find whatever they want on the internet so it would be good to show the material in a responsible context which explains how people were seduced by it.’ However, Annemartine van Kesteren, design curator at the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, said a design exhibition on the Third Reich would only be relevant to the public debate if it takes in the design and architecture of other totalitarian systems, such as Stalinism or the North Korean regime. Google She would also like to see more research on the role of companies like Google when it comes to shaping public opinion. ‘Totalitarian control systems are occupying very different seats these days,’ she told the Volkskrant. De Rijk has permission for the exhibition from the council whose alderman for the arts Huib van Olden called the idea ‘exciting and challenging’. ‘We say yes but only if the museum handles the subject prudently and doesn’t hang up Nazi banners with swastikas on them.’ De Rijk, whose museum has no Nazi design in its collection, said there is no date for the exhibition yet and that he is in talks with the Deutsches Historisches Museum.  More >