Sunday 17 January 2021

DutchNews podcast special: The On Your Bike, Rutte Edition

DutchNews podcast special: The On Your Bike, Rutte Edition

A special edition of the podcast following the collective resignation of Mark Rutte’s cabinet on Friday. We ask what this means for the families involved and how it will affect the government’s pandemic response. We examine Lodewijk Asscher’s role in triggering Rutte’s downfall, how the question of racism was marginalised during the inquiry and what effect it might have on the election campaign. And we reveal why Rutte took a deliberate wrong turn on his bike as he set off... More >

Podcast: The Ham Sandwich Virus Edition

This week’s podcast was recorded while the cabinet was deciding whether to resign over the child benefits scandal, so we’re unable to respond to the possible collapse of he government. But we can bring you up to speed on the coronavirus lockdown, the vaccination schedule and what sandwiches you can bring with you from the UK. Despite predictions of economic meltdown, fewer businesses went to the wall than ever in 2020 and one home delivery firm saw its profits soar.... More >

Five facts about funeral insurance

While we don’t really like to talk about death, it is important to talk about it, especially when it comes to the finances. Death is expensive, and people often find themselves faced with a big bill after a loved one passes away. Compared to many other countries dying in the Netherlands comes at a price. This is just one of the reasons why the majority of the Dutch population take out funeral insurance to cover the costs of their burial... More >

Huawei, EU industry are natural partners

Together Huawei and European industry can address the challenges of a new emerging order, says Sophie Batas, director for cybersecurity at Huawei Europe. As the turbulent year of 2020 comes to an end, it is clear that the past months have been quite extraordinary for all of us. Even though we are starting to see the end of the tunnel with mass vaccinations soon to be underway all over the world, the pandemic continues to heavily impact our daily lives.... More >

'The gezelligheid is very comforting'

Weesp resident Dominic Seldis has just started his 12th season as a bass player with the Concertgebouw orchestra in Amsterdam. An English native, he has added to his musical career by becoming a Dutch television personality, and says the tikkie is the most terrible Dutch invention ever. How did you end up in the Netherlands? It is all down to Concertgebouworkest flautist Emily Beynon, who is Welsh, and used to play in my old orchestra in Cardiff. She told me... More >

Meet the Brexiles in the Netherlands

The UK might be out of the EU, but many Remainers have upped sticks and are now starting a new life in a member state. We meet the Brexpats in the Netherlands and find out what made them leave Brexit Britain behind.  ‘I really don’t think I would have made the move without Brexit,’ says Mark Richards*, a recruitment consultant in his thirties who moved to Amsterdam from Manchester in 2019, frustrated by what he saw as a mis-selling of... More >

Coronavirus challenges film promotion

The unfortunate events of 2020 upended the plans The Hague-based producer Zachary Weckstein had in place for his film The Host. Here’s how he forged ahead. How does one distribute and promote a small-budget film in 2020? That’s the challenge The Hague-based producer Zachary Weckstein grappled with last year. His film The Host had begun screening in cinemas all across North America last winter as the Coronavirus was becoming a full-blown epidemic. The crisis upended his plans to expand the... More >

Podcast: The Blazing Bicycles Edition

2021 begins with a muted bang and the prospect of a long, cold winter lockdown. Health minister Hugo de Jonge showed his disdain for ‘symbolic’ gestures as the Netherlands’ vaccination programme was finally launched at a televised press conference. The mayor of The Hague, Jan van Zanen, came under fire for a New Year protest that bore an uncanny resemblance to a street party. And speaking of parties, a record number signed up to take part in the March 2021... More >

Urk or Turk: Dutch double standards

If it had been the children of immigrants throwing fireworks at police, rather than youngsters in several Bible belt villages, the response would have been very different, says Leiden University professor Leo Lucassen. The events on New Year’s Eve and the days leading up to it demonstrated yet again that double standards are still rife in the Netherlands. Many criticised the Urker youngsters for going on the rampage but the explanation that was given for their violent and destructive behaviour... More >

Foreign workers in NL: Share your voice

Share My Voice, a new initiative set up by a wide variety of Dutch organisations aims to give a voice to the international community in the Netherlands by finding out more about the issues that matter to them. It’s not unusual to read Dutch newspaper articles about rich expats pushing up property prices in Amsterdam, or eastern European fruit pickers annoying their neighbours in a Gelderland village. But what is the truth behind the headlines? Now a group of unions,... More >

Tax changes in 2021 you need to know about

A wide range of tax changes come into effect this month. Here’s a round up of the main changes likely to have an impact on international workers, compiled by tax specialists Blue Umbrella. Saving grace There will be some saver-friendly changes to ‘box 3’ next year, where your savings, assets and small investments are taxed. Currently, the asset tax kicks in if you have more than €30,846 in savings, or €61,692 together with a fiscal partner. But next year, the... More >

Can AI make clothes shops more inclusive?

If clothing retailers featured models that looked like you, would you be more inclined to make a purchase? As the pandemic triggers a boom in home shopping, Deborah Nicholls-Lee reports on the AI startup revolutionising online fashion retail. No amount of squishing and stretching the images on my computer can make the model in the high-waisted jeans I’m deliberating over look anything like me. I’m twice as old as her, half her height, and my middle is – well –... More >

Zein Childcare share kids' New Year wishes

To reconnect with its community during lockdown, Zein International Childcare has been sharing the children’s New Year wishes online. After all, a child’s view of the world can offer comfort and perspective during difficult times, so we are sharing some of these funny messages of hope. It can be hard to escape the gloom of the pandemic and its effect on all our lives, but the fun and friendly atmosphere at Zein International Childcare’s seven locations in and around The... More >

Big investments hit magic truffle business

Campaigners and investors believe the Netherlands is the perfect place to launch a legal magic truffel microdosing industry. In the village of Horst, Limburg, is a 1,000 square meter farming facility preparing to harvest its first 1000 kilograms of psylocibin sclerotia – known colloquially as magic truffles – the psychedelic mycelium that have been drawing tourists to the Netherlands for decades. The farm’s manager, Hans Derix, left his position as an addiction therapist in Thailand to oversee what he believes... More >

The best features of 2020

Had enough of news about coronavirus and looking for a little light reading during the holidays? Here are 10 of the best features from 2020 – none of which are about Covid-19. Gefeliciteerd! Why do the Dutch have calendars in their loos? While you’re knocking your knees against the wall or developing frostbite while washing your hands, you might have noticed a curious feature in the Dutch loo: a calendar. And not just any calendar, but a yearly birthday... More >

A letter from the team

Dear readers Thank you for supporting this past year. The financial support and your emails of encouragement have made it possible for us to keep covering the most extraordinary year any of us has ever known. When we wrote our first article about coronavirus at the end of January – about 20 Dutch nationals who lived in Wuhan, China – we had no idea that 12 months later Covid-19 would come to dominate our news coverage for a year.... More >

'I fell in love with the overall society'

Originally from the seaside town of Ayvalık in Turkey, Ozan Ozavci is an assistant professor of trans-imperial history at the University of Utrecht. He says he’s fallen in love with Dutch cycling culture and Old Amsterdam goat’s cheese and would relish the opportunity to discuss politics with Thierry Baudet. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I ended up here because I started a job as a post-doctoral research fellow on a project on security history at Utrecht University.... More >

Legal advice on jobs, divorce and tenancy

Has your job been affected by coronavirus? Has working at home driven you and your partner into divorce proceedings? And what are your rights as a tenant? Here’s a round-up of what you need to know, courtesy of GMW lawyers. Losing your job during the coronavirus pandemic: what to do There’s not much worse than facing dismissal, except perhaps for losing your job now in the current crisis. Companies are failing, jobs are scarcer, and just getting to an interview... More >

7 tips for the best health insurance deal

The six week window for choosing a new health insurance provider is almost at an end. If you live in the Netherlands you have until December 31 to pick and switch to a new insurer. Analysis by Zorgwijzer shows that around half a million people change their health insurance company in the last few days of the year. So, if you still haven’t made your mind up what to do, here are seven key tips to make sure you get the best insurance... More >