Monday 27 January 2020

Bad sport

So junior sports minister Jet Bussemaker plans to take action against aggression, discrimination and over-consumption of alcohol in sport, does she? It is a noble aim indeed, but perhaps an impossible one. It’s partly the nature of the beast. More >


Happy?

The shareholders in British hedge fund TCI must be rubbing their hands with glee now that the prospect of a bidding war between Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland for ABN Amro is opening up. Barclays and ABN Amro announced this morning that they have reached agreement on a merger: a deal which pushed up ABN Amro shares to over €36. More >






Police controls

Last night the police carried out another massive control on drink-driving at seven different locations. In total 6,000 cars were directed off the main road and their drivers breathalysed. But only 27 of them were cautioned having ‘one for the road’ too many drinks and just five had their licences confiscated. A grand haul indeed for such a major police effort. More >


S-Day

You must be nice to your secretary today. Tomorrow, next week, the rest of the year, you can go back to treating her (so how many male secretaries do you know?) like dirt, but today is National Secretary Day. More >



Cartels

Heineken was fined over €200m by the European Commission today for price fixing and market rigging together with two other Dutch and one Belgian breweries. Heineken is probably laughing all the way to the bank. More >


Compromise

After earning themselves the reputation of being the bad boys of Europe, the Dutch now seem to be on their way to re-inventing themselves as peacemakers. Yesterday’s endorsement of the Dutch stand on the EU constitution by the big-mouthed Brits is an important feather in Jan Peter Balkenende’s cap. More >



Childish

Hedge funds and private equity groups have managed to earn themselves a reputation for being locusts – descending on a company, eating it bare and them leaving for pastures new. More >


Milk it

Dairy company Campina launched a massive publicity campaign yesterday for its new ‘even healthier’ milk. This new milk has, apparently, 20% less saturated-fats and is being produced by giving cows ‘special food’ in addition to their normal diet of grass. More >



Animal crackers

Four former and current Dutch directors of the Amsterdam-based European stock exchange Euronext have had their cars and houses vandalised by animal rights activists. Their email inboxes are also probably full of hate mail. More >








Torture?

Poor Willem Holleeder. After just three days of his trial on multiple blackmail charges, the man described by some as Holland’s biggest ‘mafia boss’ is exhausted and possibly sick, according to his lawyer. More >



Delivered

TNT Post is warning its workers that thousands of jobs are to go and if they don’t accept a reduction in pay and working conditions, thousands more will be at stake. The reason? The company has lost its monopoly on all but the very lightest letters, and that sector too will be up for grabs next year. More >


Stop

Prostitution is a fact of life and the fact that some countries, like the Netherlands, choose not to close their eyes to the brothel business is something to be lauded. But things start getting a little tricky when tolerance of a red light district starts nudging towards exploiting it as a major tourist attraction. More >