Dutch news in brief, Friday 12 June 2009
Read the roundup of today's Dutch press from Radio Netherlands.Diaries return to Anne Frank House
On Anne Frank’s 80th birthday on Friday, all papers announce news that her second and third diaries would return to the Anne Frank House. They will go on display alongside her famous first diary. Hundreds of rewrites on pieces of paper will also return to the secret annex.
The diaries were bequeathed to the Dutch Institute for War Documentation by Anne’s father Otto.
The manager of the Anne Frank Foundation, Hans Westra, tells nrc.next about how the public perception of Anne Frank has changed over the years.
"At first she was seen as a little girl, then a victim and now as a writer."
The managing director of the Netherlands Institute of War Documentation, Majan Schwegman, said: "The return of the diaries will also counterbalance holocaust deniers. Having the original documents will make if more difficult to deny the persecution of the Jews".
Not only is her written work returning home, the original barracks building where Anne and her sister were forced to work before being deported to Germany will also be returned to the deportation camp’s memorial centre.
The building, at Westerbork camp, was dismantled and used as a farm shed after the war.
Anne Frank fled to the Netherlands from Germany in 1934. Eight years later she went into hiding in Amsterdam, where she wrote her famous diaries. In 1945 she died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
Animal Rights Party furious over 26th seat in European Parliament
The leader of the Animal Rights Party, Marianne Thieme is furious about the allocation of an extra seat for the Netherlands in the European Parliament, according to Trouw.
If the Irish ratify the Treaty of Lisbon and if the treaty comes into force, the Netherlands will be entitled to 26 seats in the European Parliament.
The Animal Rights Party only just missed out on winning its first seat in Europe in the election. If there had been 26 seats up for grabs, the party would have been entitled to one.
Thieme calls the situation “undemocratic” and plans to take the matter to court.
The Interior Minister Ank Blijleveld suggested in April the extra seat should go to a party which had already made it into the EP, but that legislation to regulate this could only be made once the treaty comes into force.
De Volkskrant points out that ironically the seat will go to Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party, which opposes the Lisbon Treaty, bringing their tally to five.
Commotion over US adoption for gay couples
Dutch Minister of Justice Ernst Hirsch Ballin has reassured the parliament that adoption from the United States by both heterosexual and homosexual couples will remain possible.
Trouw explains the commotion arose after it was thought the minister’s adoption proposals would make adoption from the US more difficult. The US is one of the few places where it is possible for gay couples to adopt.
The minister wanted to tighten US adoption conditions after Washington signed The Hague Treaty in 2008. The treaty stipulates that agencies should try to place children with a family in their own country first. The fear was that the measures would make it more difficult for do-it-yourself adoptions via approved US agencies.
However, the minister reassured the house that once contact had been made with a US agency, the adoption could be transferred to the Dutch adoption agency. A second agency is also to be set up specialising in US adoptions and helping single sex couples. The minister put the commotion down to a “misunderstanding”.
Not all the parliamentary factions are satisfied with the minister’s explanation and want clearer guarantees.
Resignation of provincial executive is trickery
The whole of the North Holland Provincial executive has resigned after it lost EUR 78 million in savings, when the Icelandic internet bank Icesave went bankrupt in 2008.
Trouw quotes a professor in local government affairs who said: “The resignation of the provincial executive is a trick”.
As the executive stood down of its own accord rather than facing a vote of no confidence on Monday, it will be allowed to continue as a caretaker executive for another month. That will give the councillors the opportunity to come up with a compromise and return to office.
According to de Volkskrant, the Queen’s commissioner for North Holland Harry Borghouts who decided not to resign “knows the rules”. If he had stood down, there would have been no turning back. Borghouts believes he has done nothing wrong.
Nevertheless the paper asks whether the commissioner has too many functions to be able to keep up with all of them. The commissioner with Green Left sympathies is described as aloof and “not good at communicating”. His political leader Femke Halsema has disowned him by pointing out that he does not represent the party in the provincial government.
Men can't function upon seeing attractive women: survey
A study by the Radboud University in the south eastern city of Nijmegen revealed attractive women send men’s minds spinning. AD reports that men are so bent on making a good impression when they see attractive women that their brains can’t cope.
In the study, men were asked to carry out tasks after talking to women. The more attractive the women, the poorer the results.
Researcher Johan Karremans reminisced that when he was a student he couldn’t even “remember his own address” when a fellow female student asked for it.
Apparently women are not affected at all by attractive men as they are always trying to make a good impression, so their brains are used to coping with how they present themselves.
Radio Netherlands / Nicola Chadwick / Expatica