Wednesday 22 March 2023

Groningen is being 'choked to death'

The province of Groningen is fed up with the government’s failure to sort out compensation for the earthquakes caused by gas extraction, says Johan Remkes, chairman of the national programme for Groningen, and a number of local mayors. We sleep, but do not rest We hope, but do not trust I ask you now,  what right have you to tell us To build a future When our present is close to collapse? These are a few lines from ‘De meeste... More >

Podcast: Police Cats and Rogue Bureaucrats

Want to support the DutchNews podcast and keep our stocks of drop, oude kaas and stroopwafels healthy? Click here to become a Patreon backer After relying on the Netherlands to help them beat the taxman, U2 appropriately hire a Dutchman to beat the drums for them in Las Vegas. There’s more smashing news on the tennis court, where two home-based players reach the quarter-finals of the ABN AMRO tournament. The VVD wins the race to become the first party to... More >

Border racial profiling is a waste of time

Brit living in the Netherlands Senay Boztas recounts her enjoyable experiences with Dutch border police over the years and wonders why they thought ethnic profiling was helpful. ‘Is that your baby?’ said the man, tossing his hair and looking down on me. ‘Pardon?’ I replied, jiggling in the way that placates a baby stuffed into a sling, with too many clothes and bags and too little sleep. ‘Is that your baby?’ somewhat more aggressively. I had no idea whether to... More >

'The Dutch have the smallest of houses'

  Fiona grew up in Washington DC and first came to Europe as a student. She now lives in The Hague and is a speaker, author, blogger, YouTuber, leadership coach, and comic book illustrator in addition to working as a senior culture and engagement manager for a large multinational. She would like to meet the people behind Droog Design and recommends tourists spend a day on a Texel shrimp trawler. How did you end up in the Netherlands? Well, it... More >

Vermeer in Delft: a story behind the story

While all the attention is on the new Johannes Vermeer exhibition in Amsterdam, the 17th-century painter’s hometown of Delft has an exhibition of its own, focusing on the life and background of one the world’s most famous artists.  ‘If you want to see Vermeer’s paintings, you must go to Amsterdam,’ says Janelle Moerman, director of the Prinsenhof Museum in Delft. The Rijksmuseum blockbuster exhibition has collected 28 of the master’s 35 known works under one roof, though one is disputed.... More >

Podcast: The Vanishing Vermeer Edition

Want to support the DutchNews podcast and keep our stocks of drop, oude kaas and stroopwafels healthy? Click here to become a Patreon backer Dutch rescue workers join the international team searching the rubble of this week’s earthquake in Turkey and Syria for survivors. Back home, Mark Rutte surveys the wreckage of his asylum policy as the Council of State throws out a rule delaying family reunions. The team investigating the MH17 disaster say the chain of command went all... More >

7 ways with wine in and around Amsterdam

When you think of the Netherlands, you’re more likely to imagine drinking dark, malty bock beers in a cosy brown café that quaffing wine – let alone Dutch wine. But in recent years, the wine scene in and around Amsterdam has come on in leaps and bounds. Our resident Amsterdam Foodie (who’s not known to turn down a tipple or two) brings you her round up of the best places to taste, tour and shop for wine in and around... More >

Housing update: house prices fall

2023 has started up with a flurry of housing news, including a further drop in house prices and predictions of more to come. House prices are continuing to fall House prices fallen for five months in a row as rising interest rates reduce borrowing, according to the Dutch national statistics office CBS. In December, the drop was 2.3%, the biggest recorded in 10 years. And analysts from ABN Amro bank are forecasting a further 10% fall in 2023 and 2024.... More >

'We need to study what goes right as well'

This year Amsterdam ombudsman Munish Ramlal is going to pay closer attention to things that go right, as well as looking at what goes wrong. If the headlines are to be believed things at a lot of government institutions are not exactly running smoothly: ‘Situation at tax office critical’ (NRC, January 13) ‘Stop and search trial marred by major errors’ (Het Parool, January 16), ‘Serious worries about public services’ (Binnenlands Bestuur, January 18). Commenters on social media didn’t mince words.... More >

Podcast: Oma Wants Her Tank Back Edition

Want to support the DutchNews podcast and keep our stocks of drop, bessenjenever and stroopwafels healthy? Click here to become a Patreon backer The distant goal of putting Russia on trial for invading Ukraine moves a step closer as a dedicated prosecutor’s office is set up in The Hague. Mark Rutte avoids a diplomatic incident as he takes French president Emmanuel Macron out to an Indonesian restaurant. The Dutch and German armies look set to integrate further, though there’s bound... More >

12 great things to do in February

Unless you have been staying on Mars for the last couple of months it cannot have escaped your attention that the hottest ticket in town is the one for Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum. But despair not, those of you who did not manage to prebook, there are plenty of other gems on offer in February See some old masters that are not Vermeer The Hermitage is presenting 35 paintings from the Leiden Collection in New York. The private collection consists... More >

Inburgering with DN: the flood of 1953

This week marks 70 years since a devastating storm wreaked havoc along much of the North Sea coastline. This is what you need to know about its terrible consequences for the Netherlands. Lesson 34: the flood of 1953 What happened? On 31 January, 1953 a storm that had been gathering south of Iceland wended its way via Scotland towards the Dutch coast, disastrously combining force gale winds and a spring tide. The dykes broke in Zeeland, Zuid-Holland and Noord-Brabant late... More >

An ode to the borrelplankje

Our regular columnist Molly Quell thinks that the borrelplankje is a national treasure and should be celebrated.  The reality of Dutch winter has set in. It’s cold. It’s wet. It’s dark. And it’s going to remain that way for the foreseeable future. The Christmas lights have long since lost their charm and we can no longer distract ourselves with plans for upcoming parties. I am writing this column bundled into a sweater and wearing two pairs of socks. The tips... More >

Podcast: Burnt Kroket Burial Mound Edition

Want to support the DutchNews podcast and keep our stocks of drop, bessenjenever and stroopwafels healthy? Click here to become a Patreon backer A feast of ophef this week as the widow of singer André Hazes sues a juice channel presenter who called her a ‘gecremeerd kroket’ while Belgium’s prime minister gets his flags in a twist. Richard de Mos rolls up in a garish stretch limousine for the start of his trial, where he’s accused of running a criminal... More >

Free supermarket offers poor families help

The shelves are stocked, the coffee machine primed and an enthusiastic team is ready to help customers. There’s one difference at this new supermarket in Amsterdam Nieuw-West: everything is free. Fris, which opened on Tuesday night, is a crowd-funded initiative set up by Stichting Studiezalen, which runs homework classes for students in Amsterdam and Zaandam. The idea is that, instead of a food bank or hand out, a free supermarket with other services attached can help families in poverty –... More >

The long and winding road to a rijbewijs

Getting a driving licence in the Netherlands is far from easy – and if you are not lucky enough to come from an EU country, you will have to pass the skills and the theory test, even if you have been driving for decades. Dutch News readers have been sharing their experiences with Brandon Hartley. You may have a driving licence from another country, but in the Netherlands, you will need a rijbewijs. Some, like EU nationals and people from... More >

6 self-study tips for improving your Dutch

If improving your Dutch or passing your integration exams are personal goals for 2023, self-study course Inburgering Online can help you get on track. Bart Nawijn, founder of Inburgering Online, a self-access course which prepares students for the Dutch integration exams, has just got back from his vacation in Mexico. ‘I have barely any Spanish and once again I experienced how exciting it is to learn a new language, getting to know the people and the culture better and becoming... More >

A bird’s eye view of Lithuanian nature

Just a short haul flight away from the Netherlands, the Lithuanian spa town Druskininkai is famous for more than its mineral water and therapeutic mud. The town is located in the picturesque Dzūkija region, surrounded by pine forests and oak groves, making it the perfect location for fans of the great outdoors as well. An abundance of sights, activities and entertainment attract travellers to Lithuania throughout the year. And visitors heading to Druskininkai, the pretty spa town located in the... More >