Dutch news in brief, Thursday 11 June 2009
Read the roundup of today's Dutch press from Radio Netherlands.Provincial council resigns over Icesave losses
All papers cover the resignation of the seven-member North Holland Provincial Council in the wake of a report criticising the council for investing a huge sum of money in an Icelandic savings bank, which declared bankruptcy a few months ago.
De Volkskrant writes that the report says the councillors "ignored their own rules and failed to provide adequate financial supervision". North Holland province lost EUR 78 million of the taxpayers’ money after plonking it in an internet savings account. It is still not yet clear if the province will be able to get its money back.
North Holland Queen's Commissioner (the government-appointed governor of the province) Harry Borghouts told the daily: "None of the councillors committed any acts necessitating resignation, however, in the light of the report, all deputies have decided to acknowledge their responsibilities."
Commissioner Borghouts did not join his colleagues in resigning despite what AD calls "the damning report over Borghouts' role in the affair".
Bos dismisses criticism of Labour Party
Last week's European Union Parliamentary elections were fairly disastrous for social democratic parties across the EU and the Dutch Labour party was no exception, losing four of its seven seats. The bashing at the polls has resulted in navel-gazing and calls for change, re-evaluation, reassessment and fresh efforts to connect with the ordinary voter.
In an article in AD – printed Wednesday – Culture Minister Ronald Plasterk blamed the Labour party's electoral debacle on "elitism and a failure to listen to the concerns of voters in problem neighbourhoods".
The blame game continues Thursday in Trouw and NRC Handelsblad. Trouw reports that Labour elder statesman Jan Pronk blames the party's disastrous showing in the European polls on party leader Wouter Bos' failure to lead the campaign and tackle the issues, a theme expanded on by former minister Rick van der Ploeg in an opinion piece in NRC Handelsblad.
In an interview with AD, Bos said the party is on the right path and sees no reason to change course now. He is also unimpressed by the criticism from the culture minister who "hasn't said anything new".
Almere mayor wants to punish rude MPs
De Telegraaf writes that former deputy prime minister and Almere mayor, Annemarie Jorritsma, has called for "rude MPs to be prosecuted" because "it encourages people to be rude to police officers and emergency service personnel."
In an interview with the paper, she said: "The entire lower house is guilty. It's no wonder that police officers and ambulance crews are verbally abused."
The Almere mayor continued: "MPs use the same language as people on the street; it sets a very poor example. And it's not only rude MPs who are setting a poor example; the cabinet isn't helping much either. If the proposed cuts to police forces' budgets go through, the cabinet's goal of a 25 percent reduction in public nuisance offences will be completely unachievable."
Wanted: Man wants kidney donor
AD reports on a "curious" advert discovered between ads for used cars, old sewing machines and romantic liaisons: "I'm looking for a good Samaritan kidney donor, blood group O-positive."
The advert, which appeared in all Dutch papers, was placed by 63-year-old Adrie de Graaf.
"I've been waiting for a new kidney for four years; I’m tied to a dialysis machine and I feel like a prisoner."
So far, he has had three responses but still no kidney. The first was a conman, the second backed out at the last moment and the third wanted EUR 5,000.
De Graaf said he is desperate and hopes to get a donor kidney from Afghanistan, "I don't care where it comes from, as long as it's not from a dog or a cat."
Easy win for Dutch football team
Several papers carry photographs of ecstatic men in orange shirts hugging and kissing each other.
"Oranje keeps on winning" screams the headline on the front page of AD sport section, followed by several pages of praise and analysis of Wednesday night's two-nil win over Norway.
The Dutch team has already qualified for the 2010 World Cup, but the recent win gives the Netherlands an unassailable lead at the top of the table in their group.
Trouw, NRC.next and de Telegraaf print similar photos with similar headlines and heap praise on the team and coach Bert van Marwijk.
For everyone who thinks football is a silly game and there is far too much of it in the papers and on television, there were a few consoling words in Trouw: "The Dutch national team brought the 2008-2009 football season to a close last night with its seventh victory in a row. The team can now go on holiday and not have to worry."
Radio Netherlands / Jacqueline Carver / Expatica