Dutch news in brief, Thursday 7 May 2009
Read the roundup of today's Dutch press from Radio Netherlands.Ajax trainer quits
Football coach Marco van Basten’s decision to quit Ajax FC received much coverage in the press.
A photograph of Van Basten graces the front page of most of this morning's papers; he looks pensive in Trouw, worried in de Volkskrant and plain miserable in AD and De Telegraaf. His record as Ajax coach – the Amsterdam team finished third in the Premier League – perhaps entitles him to feel miserable.
The articles are in agreement: Marco resigned because he was a bad coach.
De Telegraaf writes that Marco announced his resignation at a press conference "with an elegance that made him such a wonderful player but that was so often missing from his coaching."
De Volkskrant describes the press conference as an "Ibsen-esque drama," with Van Basten coolly dissecting his failings as coach. AD quotes "I'm not good enough; Ajax deserves better."
Financial regulator investigates Dutch Ponzi scheme
AD reports "EUR 30 million worth of investments missing" as the Financial Markets Authority (AFM) accused Partrust Beheer of running a `Ponzi’ scheme -- similar to the pyramid structure used by Wall Street heavyweight Bernard Madoff -- and has filed fraud charges against the company.
According to the paper, 240 people fear that they will never see their investments -- worth a cool EUR 30 million -- again.
Trouw writes EUR 40 million is missing, a sum echoed by de Volkskrant. The left-wing broadsheet reports that Breda-based Partrust is one of 10 companies being investigated for "massive fraud".
De Telegraaf' paper reports financial watchdog AFM knew about the Partrust fraud in 2004 but waited until last autumn to take action, and only very recently filed fraud charges against the company, resulting in hundreds of new investors losing their savings.
Rotterdam mayor demands investigation into Liberation Day riots
The Liberation Day riots in Rotterdam are back in the news after police found evidence that the violence was planned.
De Volkskrant reports police discovered pieces of wood studded with nails scattered across the festival location.
On Tuesday night, police fired several warning shots into the air as a group of fighting youths disrupted the Liberation Day festival, forcing an early end to the festivities.
The trouble started after police received reports someone was stabbed in the Zalmhaven area. Aggressive festival goers then turned on police by hurling bottles and other missiles at them.
Mayor Aboutaleb has "demanded a thorough investigation" into the "unimaginable" violence, reports Trouw while AD reports "officers were surprised by the sudden attack".
The mayor has promised to find out how the bottles and clubs were smuggled into the festival.
"Those responsible for the incomprehensible … violence will not get away with it, not now and not ever," said a furious Aboutaleb.
Economic crisis turns Dutch into bargain hunters
Many have been hit hard by the economic crisis and are desperately searching for a bargain.
Trouw covers the latest supermarket survey by Gfk Panel Services, which reports consumers are going to more supermarkets but spending less in each one.
A Gfk investigator told the paper turnover has risen but spending has fallen. "One can conclude that consumers are visiting several supermarkets to find the lowest prices," adding "People are buying sausages and mince and leaving the T-bone steaks behind."
Storm forces ice lolly ship back to harbour
AD headlines the peculiar story "lolly-stick ship stranded in Urk harbour". It appears that The Thor, a Viking ship made from 15 million ice-lolly sticks, was forced back into the harbour by a storm after managing just one nautical mile.
"We're not disappointed. We didn't want to risk anything. The storm will only last a few days and then we can set off again," said The Thor’s captain, Robert McDonald from Emmeloord.
Captain McDonald and his crew intended to sail to England to give cuddly toys to sick children before setting off for the United States.
Radio Netherlands / Jacqueline Carver / Expatica