Dutch news in brief, Wednesday 2 September 2009

2nd September 2009, Comments 0 comments

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

Political year opens in The Hague
Summer recess is over and Dutch politicians are back in The Hague attending to the country's woes.

AD prints a large photo of 150 MPs smiling for the cameras in front of the parliament buildings.

The paper predicts a really difficult year for the government; unemployment is rising and government borrowing has risen to unprecedented levels.

It also notes that this year's budget day will fall on the one-year anniversary of the collapse of the US investment bank Lehman Brothers. As the paper writes, it's not a happy coincidence.

Final report on Iraq enquiry delayed
De Volkskrant reports the independent committee investigating the Netherlands' support for the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq will not be able to deliver its final report on 1 November.

Well-informed sources say the report should be ready by the end of this year or the beginning of 2010.

The report could have political consequences for Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, who politically supported Washington’s invasion back then. Balkenende had vehemently opposed to the enquiry.

Depending on what the report says, it could be disastrous for Balkenende's party as local elections are scheduled for March and voters want to punish the Christian Democrats.

Swine flu fears rise amid autumn
As autumn and the Dutch flu season are fast approaching, health and safety organisations across the country are being inundated with requests for more information on how to deal with a possible outbreak of swine flu.

AD reports the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment expects that one in three people in the Netherlands will contract swine flu during the autumn or winter months.

According to the paper, the largest labour health and safety organisation, ArboUnie, said hygiene measures introduced by individual companies to prevent the spread of swine flu in the workplace are of little use if employees use public transport to travel to and from work.

The organisation also suggested employees to drive to work to minimise exposure to the influenza virus.

The paper prints a handy guide to help prevent spreading infection and also notes that getting coffee for one's colleagues could be dangerous.

The ArboUnie's Caroline Kolkman said: "If the virus is on someone's hands, it could transfer to the coffee cup and then to you".

European championship success for football team
The Dutch women's national team has made it through to the quarterfinals of the European Football Championships in Finland.

However, the news is being reported only in de Telegraaf. The news is not published on the front-page, nor is it in any of the sports pages. Instead it is relegated to the women's page.

The paper includes a large photo of five members of the team but they look more like models than footballers. It's a real glamour shot: makeup, hairspray, neatly pressed uniforms and atmospheric lighting.

The paper writes that women's football is an up-and-coming sport and the number of girls and women playing is growing explosively.

The writer tells us "football is no longer just a sport for men and boys," and "the notion that women players are either butch dykes or lesbians is no longer true".

Team coach Vera Pauw said while things are improving with the women's football division, "women's football has still a long way to go".

While success in the European championships is good for the team and women's football in general, she would also like to see more media attention.

"I don't really want to complain because it's a hell of a lot better than it used to be but it's definitely time for Studio Sport to start broadcasting our matches," said the coach.

Radio Netherlands / Jacqueline Carver / Expatica

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