Soggy Amsterdam’s Test: Digging a Subway

Seventeenth-century masons built Amsterdam on a foundation of wooden poles planted in soggy, sandy ground, leaving behind a beautiful architectural museum - but one with walls prone to sinking or crumbling without warning. So how do you dig a subway under it? (more…)  More >


The good old Labour party (PvdA) has come up with the best possible way of dealing with the Dutch under-age drinking problem - make it a criminal offence for a juvenile to be found with alcohol in his or her possession. (more…)  More >


Does anyone apart from junior transport minister Tineke Huizinga still think privatising public transport actually benefits anyone other than the private companies and their shareholders? (more…)  More >

Self deluded

The national statistics office CBS said yesterday that there has been a 'spectacular' increase in the number of self-employed in the Netherlands – up 9% in the first quarter of the year. (more…)  More >

Clever business

The takeover battle for ABN Amro Bank has spawned an interesting sub plot: the battle of the business schools. British bank Barclays, one of the contenders for ABN Amro, yesterday pledged to invest €20m in a business school in Amsterdam if its bid is successful. This flies in the face of a Dutch initiative Holland Financial Center which aims to set up a business school for top talent. (more…)  More >


A survey for the nature management ministry this week found that 60% of the population expect the Dutch landscape become uglier over the next five years. The Dutch have a skewed relationship with their landscape. (more…)  More >


The knee-jerk reaction of anti-immigration party leader Geert Wilders when anyone mentions Islam and culture in the same breath is not only racist but becoming increasingly boring. (more…)  More >


What is a government for? The question springs to mind with the news that insurers are planning to charge people with an unhealthy lifestyle a higher premium or leave them to pay medical bills themselves. (more…)  More >


Leggings may be back as a fashion item (worn under a dress or skirt) but a minister in the Brabant village of Nederhemert has told his female flock that this garment is not welcome in his church or village, reports the Volkskrant. (more…)  More >

One too many

So, the Netherlands has a brand new initiative to try to restore the gloss to the country's reputation as an international financial centre. And part of the initiative led by the sparkling Holland Financial Centre is the setting up of a new training institute, the Duisenberg School of Finance. (more…)  More >

Good deal

There is a big fuss about the financial package Numico boss Jan Bennink will receive when the special foods group is sold to Danone. According to some reports, Bennink will receive almost €100m or €6,000 per hour for the five years he has worked at the company. (more…)  More >

Summer time

So, you are sitting on the platform waiting for the next train to Delft, only to hear the voice of an NS official over the loudspeaker informing you that due to the summer service roster, the train you are waiting for might not appear and if it does it might be on another platform. (more…)  More >


Last week Amsterdam city council gave the green light and a 10-year licence to an ambitious plan to use trams to deliver goods to city centre shops and cafés and so improve air quality. (more…)  More >


Is the news that 60% of young college students play poker and that most of them do it for money really that shocking? The research is based on replies from just 500 young people between 16 and 21 at MBO and HBO colleges in Eindhoven, which is hardly the basis for nationwide crazed-teen headlines. (more…)  More >

Jam today

Traffic jams are so predictable that radio presenters only ever give out details of tailbacks which are longer than a few kilometres, or which are unusual in some way. (more…)  More >

Moral outcry

There is an outcry in the media and among many of the opposition parties that the state is embarking on a moral crusade. This week alone there have been three proposals to tighten the moral reigns on society. (more…)  More >