Friday 13 December 2019

Opinion pieces, columns and insights into Dutch news and current affairs from key commentators. The views expressed in these columns are the writers’ own. To contribute or request our guidelines, contact editor@dutchnews.nl.

Friends

Friends

In these days of conflict and strife it’s nice to see two diametrically opposed political parties join together for the good of mankind. And that’s mankind literally – because one of the parties is the extremely orthodox Christian SGP which has very strange ideas about women. More >


Pink ceilings

Pink ceilings

Holland’s international reputation for tolerance has taken another knock, says today’s Volkskrant. The paper reports that only one Dutch company fares well in a survey to establish how gay-friendly America’s top 500 firms are. And it’s the US subsidiary of Dutch bank insurer ING that can hang out the pink flag in Atlanta. More >


Sky high

Sky high

Avoiding the truth is a painful business for powerful public figures, especially if they have been forced to improve their communication with the public they serve. More >


Scrooge

Scrooge

This year, Dutch employers are expected to hand out some 4.7 million Christmas boxes to their staff – it is a very Dutch way of saying thank you. Yet every year, research is published saying most people don’t really appreciate the parcel which was probably ordered way back in September. More >


God

God

So let us find out a little more about the ChristenUnie, the orthodox Christian party that now seems likely to end up in government alongside the Christian Democrats and the PvdA (Labour). More >


Rats

Rats

So the rats that announced they were leaving the sinking ship way before the general election are starting to line themselves up a few nice little earners – sorry, new jobs. Christian Democrat (CDA) transport minister Karla Peijs is one of the first to find a new employer. More >


On yer bike

On yer bike

Transport minister Karla Peijs has come up with an idea today that will strike fear and panic into the heart of most parents… Not only does she want to lower the age at which teenagers can drive a car to 17, she also wants to allow them to be taught to drive by mum or dad! More >


Crackers

Crackers

There is nothing like an animal for bringing out the humanity in man. The Dutch are no exception. Their reserved attitude to fellow human beings immediately melts in the presence of a dog. They become super friendly and considerate. More >


Typical

Typical

The compromise worked out by the cabinet to solve the crisis around Rita Verdonk is a textbook case of Dutch pragmatism. First you have a general election. Then the first thing the new parliament does is vote to stop deporting failed long-term asylum seekers, pending the formation of the new cabinet. More >


Thin ice

Thin ice

Earlier this week, American researchers published a claim that the North Pole would be virtually ice-free within a few decades. The very same day, a group of leading Dutch business men – including top dogs at Shell, KLM and DSM – published a letter calling on the next government to take climate change more seriously. More >


Blame

Blame

There is of course a fine line between making someone a scapegoat and making that person accept professional responsibility for his or her shortcomings. The decision by the public prosecution department to charge a senior social worker with involuntary manslaughter following the death of a three-year old child in her care (see Friday’s DutchNews.nl) falls into the latter category. More >


Taxi!

Taxi!

It was with great pride that Amsterdam yesterday announced the launch of its new Amsterdamtaxi scheme – a strangely-named quality label for the city’s taxis. More >



Assured

Assured

It’s good to see that consumers are once again getting bolshy about the crazy charges which some insurers levy over a simple savings policy. More >


Turn out red lights

Turn out red lights

News that Amsterdam council is finally trying to get to grips with the city’s notorious red light district has resulted in the usual howls of anguish from brothel owners and all the other groups with a vested interest. It will be bad for the area, bad for the tourist trade, bad for the prostitutes, they say. More >


Freedom

Freedom

So after three days, the two Telegraaf journalists jailed for refusing to reveal their sources have been set free. Their liberation follows widespread condemnation – both at home and abroad – of their imprisonment. More >



Animal farm

Animal farm

Wow, the Netherlands is one of the only countries in the world to have a political party for animal rights! The Partij voor de Dieren won two seats in Wednesday’s general election. Rather than being something to boast about, this sad state of affairs is likely to once again make the Netherlands a laughing stock abroad. More >


Disenfranchised

Disenfranchised

It’s tough being an expat at election time. Especially a well assimilated foreign national from a large EU member state who speaks Dutch and follows the local media. First you have to get your head round all the parties taking part. There are so many, that the final televised debate on Tuesday night had to be split into two leagues like the premier and the first division in soccer. More >


Sick

Sick

Ad Ruis, CFO of supermarket group Schuitema is to leave the company on December 1 because (according to a Schuitema press release) he has ‘a difference of opinion over policy’ with the rest of the board. A good enough reason to leave, you may say. More >