Some people are already calling the finance minister's first budget ‘the revenge of Wouter Bos’. Bos is in a difficult position. His Labour party (PvdA) is losing popularity in the polls. Bos himself has been criticised for not being tough enough on top people's pay and for supporting redundancy law reforms. (more…)  More >


The budget has once again been leaked - it’s a tradition as old as the swallows returning to the mission of San Juan Capistrano. (more…)  More >

Dutch probers arrive to build case on Sison

A delegation of investigators from The Netherlands arrived in Manila yesterday to verify details and confer with local authorities on the case of Jose Ma. Sison, the founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army. (more…)  More >


The Liberal VVD party's decision to expel its outspoken former integration minister Rita Verdonk dominates the front pages this morning. All but one paper carries a photo of Verdonk, carefully styled for occasion. (more…)  More >

She’s back

Just when you thought Rita Verdonk had vanished off the face of the earth she turns up on the front page of the Telegraaf, criticising her party leader and the VVD's invisibility in the immigration debate. (more…)  More >


Now we’ve all gone green and air travel is frowned upon, thank goodness for high-speed trains. We can all sit back while whizzing between Amsterdam and Paris or Amsterdam and London in a couple of hours. Well that’s the theory. (more…)  More >


What exactly is social affairs minister Piet Hein Donner trying to tell us? In a lecture last night he said that the government has no business interfering with top salaries in the private sector. (more…)  More >

Adding up

Something does not quite add up here. For years universities, hbo and teacher training colleges have been complaining about students' poor levels of English and maths (so much so that some of them are testing first year students on basic grammar and giving them extra lessons). (more…)  More >

Royal yacht

It is terribly kind of the Dutch taxpayer to keep paying towards the cost of the queen Beatrix' private yacht, De Groene Draeck (green dragon). Defence minister Eimert van Middelkoop told MPs yesterday that his ministry would continue footing the bill for the boat - put at around €112,000 a year. (more…)  More >

Self important

You have to ask just how self important the people responsible for running Dutch primary schools' after-school clubs think they are. (more…)  More >


The Netherlands has dozens of radio stations all competing for the same small pool of listeners, so it is perhaps not surprising that the sky is no longer the limit when it comes to stealing a march on the rest. (more…)  More >


The cabinet is poised to make one of the most politically-sensitive decisions in years: whether or not to extend the role of Dutch troops in Afghanistan past the initial August 2008 deadline. (more…)  More >


Does the modern soldier want a 'sex bomb with brains' asks the Volksrant on its front page on Friday, referring to the 'political pin-up' hanging at the Dutch military base in Uruzgan. (more…)  More >

Shake it

What is it with the current obsession with shaking hands? A school in Utrecht has been given the courts' blessing to sack a teacher who refuses to shake hands with her male colleagues on religious grounds. (more…)  More >

Right question

Will the Wajong become the new WAO? That is the question - baffling for outsiders - being asked in the Dutch media today. The Wajong is the name for the welfare benefit system for young handicapped people who are partially or wholly unable to hold down a job. The WAO is the general work disability benefit system. (more…)  More >