Wanted: whiz kid with calculator

If you live in Amsterdam or even visit occasionally, you cannot have failed to notice how much building work is going on. And if you get the feeling that some of these projects are taking an awfully long time to complete, you would be quite right.

Unforeseen technical difficulties’, disputes over contracts and vastly underestimated development costs are all helping to keep the city looking like a building site.
Firstly there is the renovation of the Rijksmuseum which will have been closed for at least 10 years when the work is eventually finished – 2013 at the earliest.
Then there is the modern art museum, the Stedelijk. Earlier this week officials admitted that the fancy new entrance hall is going to be so expensive to heat and light that the museum will need an extra €1.6m year.
Still, at least that project is only €3m over its €40m project so far.
And now there is the third miscalculation – the north-south metro line. Yesterday officials admitted it will open at least four years behind schedule and will cost over €2bn (original estimate €1.4bn).
A lot of the people with their hands on the city’s purse strings don’t seem to be able to do their sums very well. Perhaps before it embarks on any more ambitious projects, the city council needs to find itself someone who is a whiz with a calculator.

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