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 >


Chequered

In a move strangely at odds with its avowed commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility, Dutch banking and insurance group ING yesterday signed a three-year sponsorship deal with the Renault Formula 1 team. (more…)  More >


Lingo

As amusing as it may be to see Christian Democrat and Labour MPs falling over each other to defend the rights of elderly viewers, their furious reaction to the plans to scrap popular quiz programme Lingo (see Friday’s DutchNews) does make you wonder whether our public representatives might not be more gainfully occupied helping to dig the tunnels and build the new road and rail links they keep voting to give us. (more…)  More >


Jobs for the girls

The GreenLeft party in Amsterdam has a novel idea to help prostitutes who have been affected by the council’s cancellation of 37 brothel licences, reports the Parool. (more…)  More >


Word Play

Anyone who has explored the Dutch world of English-language communications has been forced to laugh or cry at how the well-meaning Dutch mangle our beloved language. (more…)  More >


Turncoat

As we approach the November elections, a new party has emerged as a realistic coalition candidate. Jan Marijnissen’s Socialist Party has suddenly got religion and now claims to be a contender for the votes of disaffected Christian Democrats. (more…)  More >