Friday 27 January 2023

A round up of the best stories about the Netherlands and all things Dutch from leading international publications



The wheels are coming off the Dutch green revolution

The wheels are coming off the Dutch green revolution

Another day, another success in the courts for Dutch environmentalists. This week, the country’s highest court, the Council of State, decided that building is no longer exempt from EU environment protection rules. In one of the world’s most densely-populated countries, where new homes are badly needed – and a 900,000 home building spree had just been announced – this spells trouble: within hours, building association Bouwend Nederland called it a ‘tragedy’ and experts warned it will exacerbate the Netherlands’ housing... More >


The drug trade has wrecked Amsterdam

The drug trade has wrecked Amsterdam

“It’s fine on the other side, it’s fine on the other side!” sing five rowdy, dancing Brits, to the tune of the Pet Shop Boys’ “Go West”. On the other side of the 14th century Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal, a cluster of partying men yodel back. It is midnight on a Friday in the heart of Amsterdam’s De Wallen district, and I am on a reconnaissance tour with Amsterdam’s Night Watch. More >




The rotten heart of the Dutch gas wars

The rotten heart of the Dutch gas wars

Nestled in the green countryside far from the power and bustle of The Hague sits a bright, pink farmhouse. This 157-year-old Grade-A-listed building in Drieborg is not allowed to be Barbie pink. Painting it was a protest, a sign that inside the walls of the Dutch province of Groningen — perched above Europe’s biggest gas field — all is not well. More >



‘Part of me wants to hide’: Dutch director traces great-grandfather’s Nazi war crimes

‘Part of me wants to hide’: Dutch director traces great-grandfather’s Nazi war crimes

It was the family secret that nearly went to the grave. Gerrit Jongsma was a convicted war criminal – a small-town mayor and Nazi collaborator who sent at least one Jewish family to their deaths. He was also the great-grandfather of Eline Jongsma, a Dutch writer and film director, who only discovered his identity a decade ago. More >



A home filled with languages

A home filled with languages

Being raised in a bilingual household and speaking fluent English or German as well as Dutch might sound ideal to some. But what if the two languages are Berber and Moroccan Arabic? Or Arabic and Armenian? Those combinations might raise some eyebrows, along with concerns that a multilingual upbringing could be a disadvantage for the child and exhortations to have them learn to speak Dutch as quickly as possible. More >


How the Netherlands became a narco state

How the Netherlands became a narco state

A hit squad compared to a “well-oiled murder machine”. A lawyer and journalist shot on the streets of Amsterdam. A blasé approach to killing the wrong person — there’s even slang for every accidental victim: a vergismoord. Welcome to the Marengo trial, where 17 men stand accused of involvement in six murders, four attempted murders and preparing for six others between 2015 and 2017. More >