Press Review Monday 16 July 2010

16th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

Most of the Dutch dailies look to the Netherlands for news this morning, a bus crash that killed one person and injured 17 others, including six Dutch nationals, makes at least one front page, but the massive floods and the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Pakistan have slipped off most of the front pages.

Several papers report on the reasons for the lack of involvement and reluctance to donate to the victims of the disaster. The papers also cover the 65th anniversary of Japan's surrender and there are more rumours from the coalition negotiations.

Dutch wary of donating to Pakistan AD prints a series of photo of Pakistani children, all of them victims of the monsoon floods, and asks, "Will your donations reach them?" The paper says people doubt that their money will actually reach the victims and are very reluctant to give to charities collecting for Pakistan. AD writes that a British paper discovered that "367 million euros donated to help the victims of the 2005 earthquake was spent on other things".   De Volkskrant says the extent of the flooding and the suffering caused hasn't really sunk in here in the Netherlands. "The Dutch public is weary of all the pleas and telethons to raise money for victims of disasters," says financial specialist Ferukh Ahmed. He adds that most people here do not trust the Pakistan government, which well known for its' corruption".   De Pers reports the Islamic world hasn't been eager to donate to their brother Muslims in need: "Our deepest sympathy and not much else," headlines the paper. "Kuwait sent 3.5 million but OPEC the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries only managed to rustle up 300,000 euros. "Where", asks the paper, "are the oil dollars that stream into the coffers of Saudi Arabia, Libya and the United Arab Emirate?"  

Former CDA PM voices opposition to PVV De Volkskrant leads with the news that a former CDA prime minister has come out in opposition to his party's co-operation with the right-wing Freedom Party, the PVV. "Van Agt raises alarm over coalition with PVV," crows the left-wing paper on its' front page, adding, "Dries van Agt is the most senior and prominent CDA member to publicly oppose co-operation with Geert Wilders' Freedom Party".

  AD writes that CDA leader Maxime Verhagen is doing all he can to quell the unrest in the party and assuage members' fears that the Christian Democrats will be forced to dance to Mr Wilders' right-wing populist tune. "CDA leader demands iron-clad guarantees on freedom of religion and education," headlines the paper above a photo of frowning Mr Verhagen. CDA members will have the opportunity to vote on any agreement that emerges from the coalition negotiations and it is possible that members will reject the coalition accord.   AD reports that about 700 party members have signed a petition protesting the party's co-operation with the Freedom Party but that some 3,000 people have signed a petition supporting working with the right-wing party. The paper points out that most of the supporters aren't members of the party - and cannot vote on any agreement - and notes that some of the supporters appear to be fake. A certain G.O.D. Heavens had signed the petition but the name has now been removed.  

The Netherlands commemorates Japanese capitulation AD opens with a photograph of Queen Beatrix attending a ceremony in The Hague marking the 65th anniversary of Japan's WWII surrender. Japan occupied what was then Dutch Indonesia between 1942 and 1945 and the paper says it was an uncomfortable ceremony, "thousands are still waiting for recognition and compensation for the pain and suffering they underwent during the Japanese occupation of Dutch Indonesia".

The paper reports that because the colonial administration was separate from the 'motherland', The Hague has refused to recognise or compensate people who were interned in Japanese concentration camps during the occupation. Trouw reports that "100,000 Dutch nationals were interned during the war and at least 13,000 died from starvation, exhaustion and the horrific living conditions in the camps".  

What's in a name: Floris is smart; Wesley is dumb It appears that there's far more in a name than just the way it sounds; AD reports that teachers have negative associations and lower expectations of children with 'lower class' first names; Mandy and Wesley are perceived as being stupider than Floris and Charlotte.

Education researcher Astrid Kaiser interviewed 2,000 teachers about their associations with certain names and discovered that most teachers associate lower class names such as Kevin, Wesley, Justin, Angelina and Mandy with learning difficulties and behavioural problems. Children named Alexander, Lucas, Charlotte, Sophie or Simon are considered to have better social skills as well as being more intelligent and nicer.   According to AD, a child's first name plays a huge role at school as well as later in life: people unconsciously judge children according the social strata where their name is popular. US economist David Figlio, writing for the financial website, says that children with lower class names score between three and five percent lower than peers with names that indicate a higher social class.  

Dutch swimmers take six medals at Euro championships It's Monday, so there's masses of sports coverage in all the papers; most of it is football but a few other sports make a splash. Trouw writes "Six medals for Dutch swimmers at European Championships," in fairly small letters on its front page and De Volkskrant and AD carry very similar front-page headlines as well.

Dutch swimmers won four bronze medals and two silver at the Euro championships in Budapest at the weekend and both Trouw and De Volkskrant report on a very unusual result: "Men win more medals than women," writes Trouw, noting that over the years, women have brought 139 medals home while the men have only managed to capture 40 medals. The paper says the unusual situation isn't due to a massive improvement by the men but the absence of the top three women.

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