Picking the perfect internet tv package

Internet and tv go hand in hand, so how do you pick the perfect packages? With a choice of at least 10 different internet tv providers in the Netherlands, how do you know where to start and which is the best tv package for you? The television market has transformed in the Netherlands in recent years and today a wide variety of tv providers offer a bewildering number of tv packages. Digital television services have revolutionised our viewing behaviour. It is hard to believe, but 30 years ago, commercial television was still in its infancy. Today, alongside the three state-owned channels, programmed by 10 different publically funded television channels, you have a choice of eight basic Dutch commercial stations and a plethora of foreign stations and specialist programming - so it is easy to keep up with the viewing habits of back home. Do you have a penchant for tattoos, are you a fan of reality soaps or are you into serious documentaries? Somewhere there is a television station that has got you covered. So how does the Dutch system work? Most...  More >

Universal suffrage is not so universal

Universal suffrage is not so universal in the Netherlands Not all taxpayers in the Netherlands are created equal and much needs to be done to ensure everyone has the right to vote, say Sally Wyatt and Hans Radder. With the provincial elections just behind us and the European elections around the corner, analyses and articles abound. But there is one issue that hardly ever makes the news: that of suffrage. The right to vote, and to be voted for, is an essential part of democracy. Universal suffrage is the result of a long historical process in which the right to vote was granted step by step to more and more citizens. It is 100 years since the introduction of universal suffrage and the lower house of parliament is organising a series of activities aimed at greater public awareness of the value of our parliamentary democracy in which ‘every vote is of equal value’. Some votes are more equal But in practice some votes are more equal than others. In the present system only Dutch nationals can vote in the national and provincial...  More >

Podcast: The Infected Tulips Edition

DutchNews podcast – The Infected Tulip and Painted Zwerfkei Edition – Week 17 This week on the podcast we try to piece together the debris after an explosive week for Forum voor Democratie, find out why so many MPs claim to live in Limburg and catch up with the campaign to ban a homophobic American Holocaust denier from Amsterdam. There's also news of the neck-and-neck Eredivisie title race and some mysterious vandalism on Texel. In our discussion we give you the lowdown on this year's King's Day festivities in Amersfoort. Ophef of the week: PVV's Dion Graus accused of using mother's Limburg home to claim travel allowance Earn yourself a free shout-out by backing the DutchNews podcast on Patreon here. Thanks to this week's new patrons Jacob Zwiers, William, Zoltán Peczöli and Kelly Merks. Contact Kelly at @flaneurie on Twitter if you'd like to spend a week in charge of the @WeAreXpats account. Top story Forum voor Democratie soap opera as Henk Otten claims 'character assassination' News Foreign minister under pressure to ban American...  More >

An essential guide to surviving King's Day

From cupcakes to cash cows: An essential guide to surviving King’s Day If you are in the Netherlands at the moment, you cannot fail to have noticed it. Yes, King’s Day 2019 is about to hit and the orange tat is everywhere. Here at DutchNews.nl opinion about King’s Day is divided. Some of us have been collecting our clutter to sell for months, some of us have a 24-hour feest ahead of us and some of us are even leaving the country to get away from it all. All you need is a plan. Here’s an updated version of ours. 1. If you are a party animal, you need to know that the best parties all take place the night before King’s Day and run until breakfast. Here is a list of Amsterdam events for King's Night on Friday evening. If you do go out tonight, you will not be up and about before mid-afternoon and will miss almost the whole thing. By the way, Easter may have seen blazing temperatures but Saturday is set to be overcast with showers, and strong winds at times. Forget the orange bikini. It will be no warmer than 13 degrees. 2. If you are...  More >

Wynia's Week: the creaking party cartel

Wynia’s Week: The creaking ‘party cartel’ is about to croak Thierry Baudet’s frequent mention of ‘the party cartel’ has finally wiped the smile of the said cartel. If the three ‘people’s parties (VVD, CDA, PvdA and perhaps D66) can be considered ‘the cartel’ then it is losing power fast. The traditional parties still have a finger in every pie but as their support declines, that is bound to change. The fact that these parties are falling out of favour was never more obvious than in the last provincial elections. The three parties which,  in some configuration or other, have ruled this country for at least a century no longer command a provincial majority. Even with D66, which was a regular coalition member in the last 50 years, the cartel gained no more than 43% of provincial seats. Compare this to 30 years ago when the combined vote for CDA, PvdA and VVD was as high as 81.,5% and 88.2 % counting D66. The erosion of power is now being reflected in the senate where the cartel now represents a minority. And that means the...  More >

The tax return deadline is getting closer

April 30 is ahead: You’ve only got a few days left to file your tax return You may be putting it off, but time is running out. You’ve got until April 30 to hand in your annual tax return - or get someone else to do it for you. Here’s round up of things to think about. 1. Do you need help? You can file your taxes on the Belastingdienst website using your personal DigiD number, and it is relatively straightforward if your financial situation is super simple. If you've switched jobs, bought a house or claimed lots of benefits, it might be a bit more complicated. You also need to have been registered in the Netherlands for a complete tax year - January 1 to December 31 to file online. If you have not been here throughout 2018, you will have to file your tax return manually, by filling in a 59-page document (the M form) which is only in Dutch. In this situation, we'd definitely recommend you get help from the likes of Blue Umbrella. 2. What happens if you get it wrong? You can make changes in an online filing, although it is not always easy. The...  More >

Going Dutch in Amsterdam

Going Dutch in Amsterdam was a humbling experience In February DutchNews.nl editor Robin Pascoe became Dutch. Not because she wanted to or because she felt that the time was right. She became Dutch because of Brexit. I am, immigration department figures show, one of hundreds of British nationals who are taking Dutch nationality in response to Britain’s crazed decision to leave the EU. For me it was a straightforward process. My husband is Dutch and we have been married for 30 years, so I can use the optieregeling – which means I get to keep my British passport as well. I did not have to go through the process of inburgering – taking exams to show I speak the language and that I know how to apply for a job at Hema. All I would have to do, they said, was fill in a short form, provide a copy of my birth certificate, and pay €187. I had, of course, lost my birth certificate, so I applied for a new one. Six weeks later it had not arrived and my appointment at the gemeente was coming ever closer. I phoned Britain. An official...  More >

Podcast: The Long Live King Trouby Edition

DutchNews podcast – The Long Live King Trouby Edition – Week 16 As the country gears up for the Easter weekend, the podcast team checks on the progress of the fledgling provincial governments and asks if fears that the housing market is overheating are well grounded. We also look at Ajax's rejuvenation in Europe, what sank Amsterdam's last floating flower business and how one of the country's most decorated soldiers poured home-made fertiliser all over his reputation. And with a week to go to King's Day, we ask why young people are turning their backs on the monarchy. Want to support the DutchNews podcast and keep our stocks of dog food and stroopwafels healthy? Click here to become a Patreon backer Top story Nationalist FvD in talks to form administrations in two provinces News Confidence in housing market drops to lowest level in over four years Number of people killed on Dutch roads rose by 11% last year Amsterdam's last 'floating florist' claims tourists have made business wilt Decorated soldier accused of head-butting...  More >

US citizens have obligations in NL

It’s Dutch-American Friendship Day, but have you filed your taxes? Friday, April 19, is Dutch-American Friendship Day, the day on which the Netherlands and the US celebrate 227 years of diplomatic relations. But not all is easy for the US nationals who have made their home in the Low Countries - especially when it comes to taxes and a mysterious thing called FATCA. As friendly as relations are between the two countries, American citizens living in the Netherlands still have the unfriendly obligation of paying US taxes - which they should have done by last Monday. It's a requirement that many are unaware of, or have conveniently forgotten, and it applies equally to US citizens to have never lived in the country as to those who are living away for a few years. It all stems back to 1902, when an American named George Cook moved to Mexico. He set up a business. He married a Mexican woman. And 22 years later, the Internal Revenue Service of the United States demanded $1,193.38 for unpaid tax. Cook claimed that the US had no right to tax income he earned...  More >

‘I have a new appreciation for the rules'

‘I have a new appreciation for the ‘rules’ of society’ Swapping New Amsterdam for Old, 37-year-old visual effects expert Ricky Weissman from New York quickly felt at home in the surprisingly familiar architecture of Amsterdam’s Jordaan. Three years in, he is mad for mustard, flowers and sand dunes and never says no to a poffertje. How did you end up in the Netherlands? My wife and I were living in Brooklyn, New York about three years ago now and we had found that we were travelling to Europe more and more often and that the cost of getting here and the time it took was just kind of killing us. We figured that we would find a way to get closer to our end goal, which was to live here for a few years and see if we liked it. I was freelancing for a company in New York City that had strongholds all over the world and I put in for a European destination and they told me they had an Amsterdam office and had a position available. We came out here for a week to see if we liked the city and taste the food and feel the culture. We decided that...  More >

Seven myths about recruitment agencies

Debunking seven myths about recruitment agencies in the Netherlands The Dutch unemployment rate may be at a record low and companies in some sectors are crying out for good staff, so does it still makes sense to use a recruitment agency to make the most of your chances on the career ladder? People have a lot of misconceptions about recruiters and the recruitment industry. Anastasia and Ljiljana, marketing specialists at Adams Multilingual Recruitment, a leading recruitment agency for international talent, help debunk the biggest myths about employment agencies in the Netherlands. Myth No1: As a job seeker I need to pay for the service Many job seekers think they need to pay a certain fee for recruitment services, but that could not be further from the truth. The service is free of charge for the candidates. Myth No2: Recruitment agencies only offer temporary jobs This is not always the case. Many agencies have positions that involve a direct contract with a company. Recruitment consultants have established relationships with hiring managers...  More >

10 Dutch things to get your head around

Gedogen, polderen, osseworst? 10 Dutch things to get your head around There are some things about the Netherlands which can be impossible to get your head around - partly because every Dutch person will assume you know what they are talking about. Here's a mix of concepts, events and physical things that everyone needs get to grips with. Polderen Polder is the Dutch word for reclaimed land and is now used as a verb to describe the very Dutch process of working together to reach consensus on some issue or another. This comes from the idea that everyone was forced to work together to protect the country from the sea. The polder, therefore, has come to mean the tripartite discussions which take place between unions, employers and politicians as they attempt to tackle some particularly thorny issue like pension reform. So when you see a Dutch news headline which states 'klimaatconflict in de polder', it does not mean that there is a conflict about the climate on reclaimed land, but that no-one agrees what to do about climate change. Koopkrachtplaatjes Everyone's...  More >

Podcast: The Stamppot with Jelly Edition

DutchNews podcast – The Stamppot with Jelly Edition – Week 15 Cheese and chips are on the menu in this week's podcast as the Chinese are accused of stealing the Netherlands' digital secrets, Donald Trump threatens to raise the tariffs on Gouda and Edam and the country is warned of a growing obesity crisis. We also ask why Enschede council bailed out its football club, why the Dutch are taking over Britain's railways and whether your tax demands will be arriving by drone in future. In our discussion we try to unravel the Moebius band of disaster that is Brexit and what the new deadlines mean from a Dutch perspective. Ophef of the week: Appearance of lesbian couple in Donald Duck sparks mixed reactions Top story: Chinese data spies Dutch chip ASML maker targeted by industrial spies linked to Chinese government News Fewer smokers but half the population is still overweight Better prison food could help reduce reoffending Donald Trump threatens tariffs on Dutch cheese and helicopters Post by drone technology cleared for...  More >

Eindhoven attracts expat buyers

The journey starts and ends here: why expats are buying in Eindhoven It has world-leading tech firms and start-ups, an innovative university of technology and a bustling, well-connected centre – and experts believe that buying a house in Eindhoven could start your vibrant new life in the Netherlands. ‘It is expected that in three years, one third of the population in Eindhoven will be foreign – students, seasonal workers and expats,’ says Roy Schreurs, Mortgage Consultant at Expat Mortgages in the region. ‘It is a modern place, very vibrant, with plenty to do, lots of young people and start-up companies, so it attracts people from all over the world. They even call it the “silicon valley of Europe!”’ Such is the demand that Expat Mortgages opened an office in Eindhoven in 2017, covering the Noord Brabant town and the south of the Netherlands, and has already helped almost 60 people with the door keys to their new home. Rich life Schreurs, who lives in nearby Roermond, says the location unlocks a rich life with the help...  More >

Local news from each corner of the country

Read all about it: Local news from every corner of the country The DutchNews.nl team is a small one and we cover the entire country. So sometimes local news stories don’t make the cut on our site. But there are other options out there. Here’s a round-up of local, English-language news sources and specialist news websites. Amsterdam Amsterdam, unsurprisingly, has a few options. The city government’s office for internationals, InAmsterdam, regularly updates its website with news stories from around the city. The city government itself also translates from of their news items into English and posts them on their website. The University of Amsterdam has an active English-language student paper, The Amsterdammer. The content is geared towards the student body but they also cover lots of local events and issues. InAmsterdam City of Amsterdam The Amsterdammer The Hague The city itself provides a lot of English-language news on their website. In addition, The Hague Online regularly updates with news stories about the city and region, plus...  More >

Get a personal fitness training schedule

Is it time your fitness training schedule got personal? Are you still dithering about getting fit - even though you promised you really would take it seriously this year?  We visit the Personal Health Club in Amsterdam to find out why its personalised training concept gets clients such good results. ‘The personal attention that we give is what we stand for,’ says Ashton Payne, trainer and club manager at the Personal Health Club in the heart of Amsterdam’s Oud Zuid district. Founded in May 1997, the club has a long history of working closely with its members, the majority of which have stayed with the club in excess of 10 years. The Personal Health Club fills a gap between costly 1:1 personal training and conventional gym membership, offering a concept based on small groups working out with shared personal trainers. A month’s membership costs €115 and gives you unlimited access to the gym and a huge choice of (extra) classes such as Zumba, B-kick, yoga, boxing, Pump and more. Gym fatigue is unlikely. ‘[Normally] you go...  More >

What do you mean: 'mass immigration'?

‘Mass immigration’ says more about the people who use the term Define your terms and don't fudge the facts about immigration, says Leiden professor Leo Lucassen. One of the spectres conjured up by Thierry Baudet in the last few weeks is that of ‘mass immigration’. It is a menace to the Netherlands and Europe, Baudet told voters but what the Forum voor Democratie leader meant exactly remained unclear. Should we count Germans, Americans and Poles or is he just referring to those who are destroying our wonderful European culture? In other words, is ‘mass immigration’ code for Muslims and Africans? In the light of his musings on ‘boreal’, white Europe it most likely is the latter. Doomsday scenario Apart from the introduction of this veiled extreme-right term, Baudet has shown few other signs of originality. The inventor of the term ‘mass immigration’ in a Dutch context is Geert Wilders who started to use it some 15 years ago. In the run-up to the 2010 elections Wilders never tired of presenting a doomsday scenario in...  More >

14 suggestions for a perfect spring break

Dutch destinations: 14 suggestions for that perfect spring break With the weather turning warmer, what better thing to do with your weekend than go on a spring break? Since last year, DutchNews.nl has carried a monthly travel feature in which we give you the lowdown on a Dutch destination. Here's a round up to inspire you to see more of the Netherlands. Enjoy suikerbrood and sailing in Sneek Explore Leiden without the tourist hustle Deventer is an under-rated gem Explore Utrecht from high up and from way down Get a taste of the south in Venlo Enjoy art and cream pastries in Den Bosch Go Dutch with a holiday in the countryside There’s more to Delft than blue and white china Explore 2,000 years of history in Nijmegen Go north to Leeuwarden Exploring the shores of Ameland Take the train for a weekend in Rotterdam Getting windblown in winter on Texel Mooch around in Maastricht Would you like us to visit a particular destination and find out more? Email your suggestions to editor@dutchnews.nl  More >

Podcast: The April Fools Role Play Edition

DutchNews podcast – The April Fools Role Playing Edition – Week 14 This week's podcast has good news for Brits wanting to vote in the European elections, bad news for parents with unvaccinated children in The Hague and fake news about Amsterdam's coffeeshops that generated some home-grown ophef. We also look at why the justice department faced a grilling over a gruesome murder, how Ajax finally got back on top for 24 hours and how much you might have to fork out for the gun that might or might not have killed Van Gogh. In our discussion we ask if the Netherlands is facing a 'silent epidemic' of prescription painkiller use and what the government can do about it. Ophef of the week: DutchNews April Fool's coffeeshop story puts noses out of joint Top story Minister accepts 'serious failures' in system left sex offender free to kill Anne Faber News Pressure mounts for change in law to keep unvaccinated children out of nurseries MPs back plans to ring-fence citizens' rights if no-deal Brexit goes ahead British citizens wil be able...  More >

Wynia's Week: housing issues getting worse

Wynia’s Week: How to make housing problems worse by making them better The lack of housing has become one of the biggest social issues during Mark Rutte's period as prime minister. But subsidies and over-regulation, as mooted by the government and Amsterdam, will not help, says Syp Wynia. When the economy nose-dived some 10 years ago building activity was given a small boost but petered out under subsequent Rutte governments as the crisis deepened. Cut backs and higher taxes meant the building sector was hit heavily, with local councils halting construction on new builds. But meanwhile immigration continued... and at an accelerated pace. On balance the Dutch population increases by 100,000 new inhabitants a year, mainly through to immigration. As expats are being welcomed and Poles and asylum seekers are allowed in, this has never resulted in a big-scale home building programme. Instead expats use their often higher income to find a place on their own while asylum seekers are given preferential treatment when it comes to a social housing. There...  More >