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 >


On yer bike

Transport minister Karla Peijs has come up with an idea today that will strike fear and panic into the heart of most parents… Not only does she want to lower the age at which teenagers can drive a car to 17, she also wants to allow them to be taught to drive by mum or dad! (more…)  More >


Crackers

There is nothing like an animal for bringing out the humanity in man. The Dutch are no exception. Their reserved attitude to fellow human beings immediately melts in the presence of a dog. They become super friendly and considerate. (more…)  More >


Typical

The compromise worked out by the cabinet to solve the crisis around Rita Verdonk is a textbook case of Dutch pragmatism. First you have a general election. Then the first thing the new parliament does is vote to stop deporting failed long-term asylum seekers, pending the formation of the new cabinet. (more…)  More >


Thin ice

Earlier this week, American researchers published a claim that the North Pole would be virtually ice-free within a few decades. The very same day, a group of leading Dutch business men – including top dogs at Shell, KLM and DSM – published a letter calling on the next government to take climate change more seriously. (more…)  More >


Blame

There is of course a fine line between making someone a scapegoat and making that person accept professional responsibility for his or her shortcomings. The decision by the public prosecution department to charge a senior social worker with involuntary manslaughter following the death of a three-year old child in her care (see Friday’s DutchNews.nl) falls into the latter category. (more…)  More >


Taxi!

It was with great pride that Amsterdam yesterday announced the launch of its new Amsterdamtaxi scheme - a strangely-named quality label for the city’s taxis. (more…)  More >


Sinterklaas overload

Tonight is the night when Sinterklaas - Saint Nicholas - delivers his presents to Dutch childern. Some will get presents left outside the door in a sack, others will find something in their shoe… (more…)  More >


Assured

It’s good to see that consumers are once again getting bolshy about the crazy charges which some insurers levy over a simple savings policy. (more…)  More >


Turn out red lights

News that Amsterdam council is finally trying to get to grips with the city’s notorious red light district has resulted in the usual howls of anguish from brothel owners and all the other groups with a vested interest. It will be bad for the area, bad for the tourist trade, bad for the prostitutes, they say. (more…)  More >


Freedom

So after three days, the two Telegraaf journalists jailed for refusing to reveal their sources have been set free. Their liberation follows widespread condemnation – both at home and abroad - of their imprisonment. (more…)  More >


Animal farm

Wow, the Netherlands is one of the only countries in the world to have a political party for animal rights! The Partij voor de Dieren won two seats in Wednesday’s general election. Rather than being something to boast about, this sad state of affairs is likely to once again make the Netherlands a laughing stock abroad. (more…)  More >


Disenfranchised

It’s tough being an expat at election time. Especially a well assimilated foreign national from a large EU member state who speaks Dutch and follows the local media. First you have to get your head round all the parties taking part. There are so many, that the final televised debate on Tuesday night had to be split into two leagues like the premier and the first division in soccer. (more…)  More >


Sick

Ad Ruis, CFO of supermarket group Schuitema is to leave the company on December 1 because (according to a Schuitema press release) he has ‘a difference of opinion over policy’ with the rest of the board. A good enough reason to leave, you may say. (more…)  More >


Political records

News magazine HP/De Tijd entertains its readers this week with a round up of political records. Weirdest political party: PLN, the party for the liquidation of the Netherlands, in 1981. (more…)  More >


Opportune

So. With four days to go, the signs of desperation are starting to show. The political parties may have spent months polishing their glossy manifestos but – right at the last minute – all these new initiatives have suddenly come rolling out. (more…)  More >


Words

The Dutch are always going on about their reputation for being bot (blunt), but it still comes as quite a shock to discover that Breezersletje – literally Breezer slut – is now an official word. (more…)  More >


Mad

If the thought wasn’t so frightening it would actually be deeply amusing. Disintegration Minister Rita Verdonk has set her sights on the position of Deputy Prime Minister in the next Balkenende cabinet (number four at the last count but, judging by past history, it’s bound to rise if – God forbid – the CDA do indeed lead the next government). (more…)  More >


Fair’s fair

It is an odd thing to spend so much time writing about an election taking place in the country you live in – which will determine the taxes you pay and the way your children will be educated – but which you are excluded from voting in. (more…)  More >