Dutch news in brief, Tuesday 12 May 2009

12th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

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

Controversy continues to surround Dutch national history museum
De Telegraaf covers the ongoing controversy surrounding plans for a Dutch national history museum.

The eastern city of Arnhem won the right to host the museum, beating proposals from Amsterdam and The Hague.

The paper reports the parliament is fuming at Arnhem’s change in plans. The MPs are miffed that so little of Arnhem's winning bid remains intact.

A concept based on the Dutch historical canon has been abandoned in favour of a broader thematic approach and plans are also afoot to switch locations.

De Telegraaf reveals "the air is thick with doubt and resentment" and parliament is summoning all those involved to a hearing at the end of May.

The original architect is up in arms. "It's a sorry tale. And strange that a concept approved by Parliament can be changed just like that."

But the most vocal critic appears to be Socialist party leader Jan Marijnissen, one of the men behind the initiative in the first place.

"There are now two yuppies shoving their plans down everyone's throat. It's turning into a kind of theme park. This isn't about entertaining people. It's about educating them."

Culture minister Ronald Plasterk is holding firm to his choice of Arnhem: "There's no turning back. And I see no reason to."

Politicians fail to woo the ladies
While politicians are gearing up for the European elections, many are preoccupied with other matters. That includes some 80,000 readers of women's magazine Libelle who are busy celebrating the publication's 75th anniversary.

No expense has been spared, with the construction of a temporary railway station at Almere Beach to transport the subscribers to a whole panoply of attractions including culinary and artistic events, talk shows, courses in spirituality and shopping galore.

But despite the offer of a photo opportunity with Dutch prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende, Trouw informs us: "Europe leaves Libelle readers cold".

Trouw features a photograph of VVD leader Mark Rutte looking slightly lost in a crowd of women who don't exactly seem overawed by his presence.

"I'd rather listen to the Pointer Sisters than Mark Rutte," said a woman.

Another visitor chimes in: "I'm getting married in a few months and what I really need is good advice on my make-up. That's more important to me right now than the European elections."

"D'you fancy listening to Mark Rutte?" Libelle reader Corry called over to her neighbour, who pulled a face and replied: "Naah ... I'm looking to have a fun day."

Who will pay for damages of the Queen's Day tragedy?
NRC-next reports on the Queen's Day drama in Apeldoorn, when a car ploughed through a crowd of spectators leaving eight people dead.

A photograph shows a sea of floral tributes but the accompanying article focuses on the practical side of things and asks: Who will pay the damages?

Despite the extraordinary and traumatic nature of the events of 30 April, it appears that it is being treated as "a road accident, albeit a very exceptional one" from the insurance point of view.

An insurance spokesman said: "However tragic, the fatalities are not the biggest problems in terms of damages. Occupational disability and health care weigh more heavily."

Although it is widely being seen as an attack on the Dutch royal family, experts said Karst Tates' deed cannot be categorised as an act of terrorism.

But "even if the car had been full of explosives", this wouldn't have mattered to the insurers. The attack falls under the Motor Vehicles Liability Act, which does not carry an escape clause for terrorism.
Giving the Netherlands a sporting chance
NRC-next reports on a determined attempt to stem a Dutch sporting exodus.

"Top Dutch talent is almost impossible to keep, with millions being offered abroad" as top horse performers are being lured away and prized for their grace, power and magnificent technique.
A fund is now being set up to the tune of EUR 3 million to give breeders and trainers an alternative. The initiative has its roots in 2005, when the Dutch equestrian team suffered the humiliation of a last place finish at a major championship while the US romped to victory on four premier Dutch horses.
All medals at 2008 Olympic jumping events were awaraded to Dutch horses but not with Dutch riders.

"They are being ridden by Americans or Japanese - and that's a real shame. We no longer want to be defeated at the Olympics by our own horses."  

Radio Netherlands / David Doherty / Expatica

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