Sunday 02 April 2023


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 >


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 >


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 >


Directors’ excessive bonuses are the subject of heated debate again in the Netherlands. Recent efforts to temper the bouts of ‘exhibitionistic self enrichment’ with corporate governance codes and shareholder empowerment, appear to have achieved very little. More >


A number of parents from Friesland were at parliament yesterday to lobby MPs in their efforts to get bars and clubs to close earlier. The parents say their dear teenagers stay out so late clubbing that they spend all weekend sleeping. Some have even stopped doing sport. More >

Nice work

PCM, the publisher of daily newspapers de Volkskrant, NRC Handelsblad and Trouw, has sacked board member Philip Alberdingk Thijm. PCM, recently re-acquired by its original owners from UK private equity firm Apax, said said it had lost all confidence in Alberdingk Thijm’s performance. More >


Congratulations are in order for Dutch Rail (NS) following the launch of a new brand name which, the company says, is a ‘milestone in transport history’ and a ‘new vision on mobility’. More >


The Christian Democrat’s health minister Ab Klink must so far be in the lead when it comes to ministers and new policy initiatives. More >


After being soundly berated for being a bad European, the Netherlands seems to have been determined to use the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome to get its new message across. More >

Media drips

The takeover of ABN Amro by Barclays continues to generate considerable coverage both here and across the English Channel. It cannot have been pure coincidence that the BBC decided Wednesday night was a good moment to broadcast the results of a nine-month undercover operation into life in a Barclay’s call centre. More >


D66 leader Alexander Pechtold certainly seems to have aroused a cross-section of parliamentary hackles for daring to ask if Geert Wilder’s wife still has Hungarian nationality. Wilders and his anti-immigration cohorts in the PVV want to bring an end to dual nationality because, they say, it gives you divided loyalties. More >