Sense

Every January, Amsterdam’s Parool newspaper publishes a handy guide to the city’s secondary schools. It includes straightforward information about exam results and drop-out rates as well as a more controversial calculations on how black, white or mixed the school is. (more…)  More >


Reality

Reality is sometimes stranger than fiction. Certainly if the reality is the high security prison in Vught. The media is awash today with stories about how Willem Holleeder, who is awaiting trial on charges of extortion and ordering gangland killings, managed to give an interview to the Telegraaf and a tv programme without the knowledge (let alone permission) of the prison authorities. (more…)  More >


Communications

Big, big important news from the prime minister’s office late yesterday: apparently the government has managed to cut the amount it spends on communicating with the general public by €6m a year - while at the same time improving the quality of communication. (more…)  More >


Native

The national statistics office CBS tells us today that one-third of Dutch nationals will be ‘non-native’ or allochtoon by 2050. (more…)  More >


Whitewash

Ninety-three-year-old Gerda Bekker is not the only person to fall foul of the Wid - the acronym given to the law which apparently requires everyone with a bank account to hand over a copy of their passport and signature. (more…)  More >


Crime pays

Who better than to help you launder your illegally-gotten gains than someone who used to be out to catch you at it? Today's Volkskrant carries an interview with Ton Apeldoorn, an ex-tax office investigator who has set up his own company to help people clean up their illicit finances. (more…)  More >


Mission

Politicians love of style over substance is now so deeply ingrained that it's apparently unthinkable for the three parties trying to form a new government to proceed without a handy little mission statement to guide their way. (more…)  More >


Insured

The Netherlands never ceases to amaze in the way it manages to find solutions for the strangest of problems. Until today, Sidelines had no clue that there were some 11,000 people in the country who refuse to pay towards state-run insurance schemes because they believe so passionately that God will provide. (more…)  More >


Belgian bosses

Today’s Volkskrant has answers for anyone who wondered why the AEX blue chip stock market index has done so well and tipped 500 points. (more…)  More >


Public hanging

The Volkskrant publishes four graphic photos of the last moments of Saddam Hussein on its front page. The amateur video of his death is prominently displayed on the paper’s website, complete with the warning that it contains shocking images. (more…)  More >


Predictions

The Telegraaf this morning has a long list of all the legal changes that came into effect yesterday. We will all have to spend more this year because of increases in child, unemployment and invalidity benefit payments plus higher pensions. (more…)  More >


Peace

Once again, the New Year celebrations - officially described as 'relatively peaceful' - have been marred by death, destruction, wanton vandalism, running battles with riot police and the stoning of fire fighters trying to put out a blaze that was deliberately started. (more…)  More >


Kerst

So the jolly fat Anglo-American Santa Claus is catching up with the more serious Dutch Sinterklaas in the popularity stakes in Holland is he? (more…)  More >


Royal friends

Amsterdam’s Parool carried an intriguing story yesterday claiming that Queen Beatrix had intervened directly in the current cabinet formation process. (more…)  More >


Friends

In these days of conflict and strife it’s nice to see two diametrically opposed political parties join together for the good of mankind. And that’s mankind literally - because one of the parties is the extremely orthodox Christian SGP which has very strange ideas about women. (more…)  More >


Pink ceilings

Holland’s international reputation for tolerance has taken another knock, says today’s Volkskrant. The paper reports that only one Dutch company fares well in a survey to establish how gay-friendly America’s top 500 firms are. And it’s the US subsidiary of Dutch bank insurer ING that can hang out the pink flag in Atlanta. (more…)  More >


Sky high

Avoiding the truth is a painful business for powerful public figures, especially if they have been forced to improve their communication with the public they serve. (more…)  More >


Scrooge

This year, Dutch employers are expected to hand out some 4.7 million Christmas boxes to their staff - it is a very Dutch way of saying thank you. Yet every year, research is published saying most people don’t really appreciate the parcel which was probably ordered way back in September. (more…)  More >


God

So let us find out a little more about the ChristenUnie, the orthodox Christian party that now seems likely to end up in government alongside the Christian Democrats and the PvdA (Labour). (more…)  More >


Rats

So the rats that announced they were leaving the sinking ship way before the general election are starting to line themselves up a few nice little earners - sorry, new jobs. Christian Democrat (CDA) transport minister Karla Peijs is one of the first to find a new employer. (more…)  More >