Dutch news in brief, Monday 5 October 2009

5th October 2009, Comments 0 comments

Read the roundup of today's Dutch press from Radio Netherlands.

Balkenende tipped for EU presidency
Sunday's De Telegraaf screams "Race for EU president kicks off, Balkenende among the top favourites" after Irish voters finally approved the Lisbon Treaty on Friday, sparking rumours of possible candidates for the post of EU president.

The paper writes the only official candidate is former British Prime Minister Tony Blair but, "the largest group of MEPs - Christian Democrats - have a problem with the Socialist".

Monday's papers also cover Dutch Prime Minister Balkenende's possible candidacy for the EUs top job but facts appear to have caught up with rumour and speculation; Trouw, de Volkskrant, and AD report Balkenende is not a candidate.

According to European Affairs Minister Frans Timmermans, "Balkenende said he's not a candidate, so that's that".

However, he added: "Politics is sometimes unpredictable, you never know what might happen".

De Telegraaf reports European diplomats said Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende "stands a really good chance".

The Dutch cabinet has always been in favour of the Lisbon Treaty. In 2008, the cabinet sidestepped the electorate and approved the Lisbon Treaty, a move that infuriated opposition parties and many Dutch voters.

In a 2005 referendum, Dutch voters rejected the European Constitution - the forerunner of the Lisbon Treaty.

Police officers lack courage
"Police officers don't have enough courage or nerve" headlines AD above an interview with law professor Ybo Buruma.

The professor said: "There's something wrong with the work culture and training within the police forces. The creation of specialist groups such as the riot police and arrest teams have led to a lack of knowledge, skill, courage and nerve among ordinary officers".

Professor Buruma's comments came in the wake of riots at a dance festival in the Hook of Holland in August. Police officers panicked and fired warning shots to keep rioters at bay, killing a 19-year-old man in the process. Many of the partygoers were hooligans from Rotterdam and police officers said they felt "threatened".

Professor Buruma said one expects police officers to be capable of dealing with threatening situations," adding, "a frightened police officer is a dangerous police officer".

Volleyball team takes silver at Euro Championships
Most of the sports pages feature photos of the Dutch women's volleyball team that took silver at the European Championships in Poland. The team looked happy despite losing 3-0 to Italy in the final in the photo in AD.

Francien Huurman tells the paper: “It's a bit double but the positive outweighs the negative".

de Volkskrant prints a great photo of the team looking jubilant during the medal ceremony and writes the women's team had a lot to prove after failing to get to 2008 Olympics. Reaching the final of the European Championships has helped build the team's confidence.

Some Christians think yoga is devilish
Trouw reports "Not every Christian supports yoga,”

Spirit 24, a television channel run by the Protestant NCRV and Hindu Media, recently conducted an opinion poll on yoga among people with a Christian background.

The results show one in six Catholic respondents said yoga was compatible with Christian beliefs while just ten percent of Protestants said yoga and Christianity were compatible.

Fifty percent of Protestants said yoga was 'airy-fairy' while an astonishing 10 percent said that yoga exposed people to "devilish forces".

Radio Netherlands / Jacqueline Carver / Expatica

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