Thursday 09 February 2023

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 >

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 >


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 >


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 >


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 >

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 >

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 >

Cash out

There seems to be a lot of agonizing going on at the moment about how people should pay for goods and services. And with two armed robberies in Amsterdam yesterday, it is understandable that the move is away from cash. More >


Amsterdam’s image as a tourist hot spot has taken a few knocks recently, with tales of rip-of merchants posing as taxi drivers, rude café staff and hoards of drunken Brits on every street corner. More >


It is that time of year again. The schools are almost all back, there are hopes of an Indian summer… and the first of the pre-budget leaks have hit the papers. More >


It is bizarre, to say the least, that at a time when the Netherlands is worried about losing its image as a gay-friendly country, justice ministry officials seem to regard calling someone ‘homo’ as an insult. More >