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 email@example.com.
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 >
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 >
If the thought wasn’t so frightening it would actually be deeply amusing. Disintegration Minister Rita Verdonk has set her sights on the position of Deputy Prime Minister in the next Balkenende cabinet (number four at the last count but, judging by past history, it’s bound to rise if – God forbid – the CDA do indeed lead the next government). More >
For a party that prides itself on its support for deregulation and cutting red tape, those free-market Liberals in the VVD have some awfully strange ideas. Not least today’s revelations that health minister, Hans Hoogervorst, wants to tighten up the current rules on alcohol. More >
A stichting is a foundation or a trust set up to promote either a good cause or a specific objective, such as developing open source IT or protecting sand dunes. Stichtings are not supposed to make a profit – but some are very rich, like the Democracy and Media trust which owns 42% of newspaper group PCM. The Netherlands has over 130,000 different stichtings. More >
It used to be that the post was delivered early in the morning by a postal worker who not only knew your name – but that of everyone else in the street. These days, mail is delivered by so many different companies that it’s baffling as to how any of them make any money at all. More >