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 >


Criminal

The report at the weekend by the Algemeen Dagblad – that 60% of the 385 people convicted of sexually-abusing children last year did not go to jail – should not be a surprise to anyone. In the Netherlands, the rights of the abuser are paramount. (more…)  More >


Blackmail

Should taxpayers pick up the tab for a private company’s mistake? The Telegraaf reports today that Amsterdam City Council is being put under considerable pressure by builders Hillen & Roosen to do just that. (more…)  More >


Eat up

Seven years ago, supermarket group Albert Heijn made a tremendous song and dance about its move into organic food. But yesterday’s Milieudefensie survey shows the true story. (more…)  More >


Statistics

It may be over-sensitivity on our part, but the Netherlands does seem to be rather obsessed with the statistical analysis of its non-native population at the moment. Today’s papers are once again full of facts highlighting the fact that ‘they’ are different from ‘us’. (more…)  More >


Hangover

For a party that prides itself on its support for deregulation and cutting red tape, those free-market Liberals in the VVD have some awfully strange ideas. Not least today’s revelations that health minister, Hans Hoogervorst, wants to tighten up the current rules on alcohol. (more…)  More >


Democracy

Magazine HP/De Tijd does not mince its words in its assessment of D66 MP Thom de Graaf’s likely new appointment as Mayor of Nijmegen. ‘Thom de Graaf should be ashamed of himself,’ the magazine headlines its article. (more…)  More >


Stichting

A stichting is a foundation or a trust set up to promote either a good cause or a specific objective, such as developing open source IT or protecting sand dunes. Stichtings are not supposed to make a profit – but some are very rich, like the Democracy and Media trust which owns 42% of newspaper group PCM. The Netherlands has over 130,000 different stichtings.   More >


Pride

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende is proud of many things – and he uses his guest editorial in today’s Telegraaf to list them. It is a very, very long list. (more…)  More >


ABC

Poor old Minister of Economic Affairs, Joop Wijn. Yesterday, he was proud as punch with the results of his survey which showed that employers do not discriminate against people with an ethnic minority background. Today, however, it emerges that nobody agrees with him. (more…)  More >


Post mortem

It used to be that the post was delivered early in the morning by a postal worker who not only knew your name – but that of everyone else in the street. These days, mail is delivered by so many different companies that it’s baffling as to how any of them make any money at all. (more…)  More >


Educating Rita

Integration minister Rita Verdonk is now turning her attention to education. This weekend, Verdonk, number two on the VVD (Liberal) list of prospective MPs, chaired the discussions at her party’s education conference. (more…)  More >


Security breach

In all the fuss about the high security jail for terrorists and its living conditions, no-one appears to have asked just how suspect Samir Azzouzz managed to get his litany of complaints into the hands of the Volkskrant newspaper journalists. (more…)  More >


Old hat

There has been a flurry of statistics, memos and reports in recent days, going on and on about how old we are all likely to become in the Netherlands and how much we are going to cost the state when we do. (more…)  More >


Our boys

Annemarie Jorritsma, former government minister and now mayor of Almere, has come up with an interesting suggestion to help Dutch soldiers let off steam while on missions abroad. (more…)  More >


Uncovered

Weekly news magazine HP/De Tijd reports this week from the town of Genemuiden, in the centre of Holland’s bible belt. Almost three-quarters of the 10,000-strong population are regular church goers - most of whom walk in long lines to church twice every Sunday. (more…)  More >


Cover Up

It used to be that the only people who wore burkas in the Netherlands were undercover journalists, out writing stories about how many times they got spat at in the street or terrorism trial witnesses trying to hide from the cameras. (more…)  More >


Thrift

People who vote for the free-market Liberals (VVD) donate more money to good causes than Labour (PvdA) voters but Green Left and Christian Democrat are the most generous, the Volkskrant reports today. (more…)  More >


Kid Power

A TV-advert currently running shows a plumber trying to mend a leak under the sink. The crack of his bottom is plainly visible above his baggy jeans. Staring at him from the kitchen table is a young boy aged maybe five or six. (more…)  More >


Panic

The current panic among MPs desperate to protect Dutch companies from aggressive hedge funds reveals just how little has changed in this paradise of protectionism. It is also completely at odds with all too recent government policy to increase shareholders rights. (more…)  More >