Dutch news in brief, Tuesday 20 October 2009
Read the roundup of today's Dutch press from Radio Netherlands.DSB Bank: did it fall or was it pushed?
The downfall of the DSB Bank enters a new phase Tuesday, following news of bankruptcy.
Trouw declares "the game of passing the buck has begun". Or to use De Telegraaf's slightly more robust style "the mudslinging has started"!
On one side, the bank's founder Dirk Scheringa insisted: "We didn't go bust, we were destroyed". He blamed the Finance Ministry and the Dutch central bank and vowed: "I'm going to write a book about this and make a film. Because what's happened here is unbelievable."
On the other side, Finance Minister Wouter Bos retorted "You don't drown because no one saves you, but because you can't swim".
He is backed by the receivers who reckon "DSB Bank realised too late that its earnings model was no longer working".
Free newspaper De Pers thinks it knows the reason for such forthright language: "These are the opening salvos in what looks set to be years of legal wrangling".
Dirk Scheringa: hero or villain?
One striking aspect of the whole DSB drama is that the people who stand to lose their livelihood - the bank's employees - are astoundingly loyal to their managing director, even as two thirds of the workforce have been laid off.
De Telegraaf reports the message DBS employees had taped to the windows of the bank's headquarters, "Dirk, thanks for the wonderful years".
At the meeting announcing the job losses, he was greeted with applause. Trouw quotes one employee as saying "It's such a shame for him. He spent 32 years building the company and now he's lost everything. We all have a huge amount of respect for Dirk."
The footballers of AZ, the team sponsored by DSB, express similar sentiments in AD: "We're going to miss him. He was a real character and he was always there for the club and the players."
But nrc-next regards Scheringa's newfound hero-status as "a strange paradox". The paper points out "he changed his image by giving the thumbs up to the cameras and promising his workers he'd fight for the bank. Now he's a hero to the man in the street. But it was that same man in the street that Scheringa duped with his expensive and unnecessary financial products."
Did Marco Borsato pull the plug himself?
AD claims the well-loved singing star Marco Borsato, whose company The Entertainment Group folded only a few weeks ago he could have saved his company from ruin but chose not to.
Apparently the singer knew more than he was letting on and was informed months in advance that “the company was a sick patient and failure to operate would inevitably result in death".
One of The Entertainment Group's high-profile ventures was a series of stadium concerts featuring international stars accompanied by a live orchestra.
Diana Ross was the latest showbiz diva to strut her stuff, but strapped-for-cash Marco has to give a concert of his own just to cover the costs.
A noble gesture said his supporters: "he's restored the public's faith in all major live events in the Netherlands". His creditors are not so forgiving, however.
"Why doesn't he just keep on singing till he's paid off all his debts?" grumbled one out-of-pocket investor.
New cancer treatment may bridge gap between pets and humans
AD and De Telegraaf report that scientists at Utrecht University have successfully tested a new cancer treatment in dogs and cats and hope the same method can be tried on humans within six months.
De Telegraaf reveals this is an international breakthrough, which involves injecting tiny radioactive spheres into the tumour, generating a kind of "radiotherapy from within" and causing less damage to surrounding tissue.
However: the tumour has to be easily accessible and the technique is currently being employed only when no other treatment is possible.
The man behind the breakthrough, the university's professor of veterinary medicine Jolle Kirpensteijn, explained the leap from animals to humans is not as big as you might think.
"Pets spend much of their lives indoors, sometimes eat what their owners eat, experience the same stress factors and inhale their owners' cigarette smoke. They suffer from the same tumours and these often behave the same way as in humans."
On the basis of this principle, he advocated a "one-health principle", calling on medical professionals treating humans and animals to cooperate more closely in preventing, treating and studying diseases.
Radio Netherlands / David Doherty / Expatica