Dutch news in brief, Wednesday 1 October 2008
Find out what’s the latest news in the Netherlands in the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.1 October 2008
Emergency debate on global financial crisis
The global financial crisis continues to lead the headlines. Trouw reports on Tuesday night’s emergency debate in The Hague. During the debate Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and Finance Minister Wouter Bos said there was little they could do to prevent the crisis.
Opposition parties said that the government should have stopped Fortis from taking over ABN Amro in 2007. The House agreed that there should be no bonuses or golden handshakes for Fortis executives. The conservative VVD and D66 parties asked to review 2009 budget, repeating their criticism that there is no protection for bad times.
Both the prime minister and the finance minister defended their budget plans and ensured that Dutch banks will fulfil their promises. During the debate Mr Bos said, "We invested EUR 4 billion to make sure ordinary people with savings did not fall victim to the crisis. Not for the bankers".
Consumer confidence falters
AD reports that many account holders are dividing their savings among different banks in case one bank fails. An AD survey shows that only 4 percent of savers are confident that Fortis is a reliable bank. Rabobank leads in consumer confidence with 55 percent, followed by ING at 30 percent. NRC.Next says people are cautious although they are confident in the government. "It's pure emotion, isn't it?" says one interviewee. De Volkskrant reassures its readers that Minister Bos will not allow Dutch banks to fail, but asks, "Will our money be worthless?" The paper says this fear is exaggerated, but advises less confident readers to invest in a classic car or Van Gogh painting.
Children's Book Week opens
The 2008 Children's Book Week opened Tuesday night with a traditional book ball and announcement of the winner of the annual children's book prize, De Gouden Griffel (“The Golden Pencil”). The prize went to Jan Paul Schutten for his book Children in Amsterdam, which describes the history of the capital through stories of real children who lived in Amsterdam throughout the years. Trouw's book reviewer agreed with the choice, but Schutten himself was surprised, saying "Informative books never win".
Football clubs help drop-outs achieve their goals
De Volkskrant reports on a project called Scoring for Schooling started by Vitesse Football Club which helps school drop-outs return to training and work. Out of 26 participants, 21 are now either in work or at school. The club provides a professional footballer as a buddy, a few supervisors and membership in a business club. Similar projects are also successful. FC Twente helped 85 percent of participants into a job or school. At De Graafschap Football Club, young men receive five weeks training at the club, then a five-week internship. At the end of the program they stand in the centre of the field and state their goals. "These are our toppers", says project leader Ron van Bedaf.
Topper begins bid for Eurovision contest
AD and De Telegraph print photographs of the band Topper. The popular trio Gerard Joling, René Froger and Gordon began their attempt to become the Dutch entry for the 2008 Eurovision Song Festival Tuesday. Wearing purple and gold suits they are pictured driving jet-skis on the Amstel River in front of the Amstel Hotel.
[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]