Press Review Monday 3 May 2010

3rd May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Two stories in battle for dominance in this morning's Dutch dailies; the massive bailout for Greece agreed by Eurozone finance ministers on Sunday wins the battle for front-page space but coverage of FC Twente’s Premier League title victory certainly generates more column inches.

Eurozone countries bail out Greece "110 billion for Greece," is the sober headline on de Volkskrant's front page and the paper confidently says that the massive loan will "prevent Greece from sliding into bankruptcy". The paper says the joint IMF/Eurozone bailout is the largest in history. Outgoing Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager tells the paper that "the Greek crisis was threatening other Eurozone countries. We're acting to stabilise the euro, not out of love for Greece".

AD’s front page headline is rather ambiguous - it could be a command but it could also be a desperate plea: "Mega-loan must save Greece," says the populist tabloid. The paper informs us that the agreement still has to be approved by the national parliaments of the Eurozone countries that are forking out the cash. The Dutch lower house will hold an emergency debate on the issue later this week and "it looks like a majority will approve the deal," says the tabloid.

De Telegraaf reports on the Greek bailout from a rather nationalistic viewpoint, headlining "The Netherlands lends Greece 4.8 billion euros". The populist broadsheet says the massive loan was granted after Athens agreed to a draconian cost-cutting plan and sneers, "the luxurious lifestyle enjoyed by the country's huge civil service will have to come to an end".

FC Twente takes Premier League title Photographs of jubilant FC Twente players and supporters are scattered liberally throughout the papers and there are pages and pages of articles on the Tukkers historic victory. AD, which proclaims that it's the Netherlands' number one sports paper, trumpets "laughter, tears and a huge party in Enschede," adding that the party wasn't only in the centre of Enschede but also on and above the highway leading back to the city.

FC Twente clinched the title after beating NAC Breda 2-0. After the match, the supporters couldn't wait to greet their heroes at home in Enschede and so stopped to celebrate on the highway. The paper says it was "chaos and there were six kilometres of tailbacks in both directions as supporters stopped their cars and danced on the hard shoulder".

All the other papers repeat AD's story with minor variations, though Trouw does spare a thought for the losers and has a photograph of some extremely miserable and despondent fans of Amsterdam Ajax that missed out on the title this year.

May Day marchers clash with cops Saturday was the first of May and there were the traditional strikes and marches to celebrate Labour Day. De Volkskrant reports that parades in Rotterdam and Nijmegen "got out of hand" and some of the 225 anti-capitalist protesters in Nijmegen were arrested after throwing bottles at police.

The left-wing paper says police in Rotterdam arrested 14 of the 200 May Day marchers after the protesters refused to hand over the sticks and poles they were carrying. According to police, an agreement with the organisers specifically banned marchers from carrying poles as they could be used as weapons but protesters said they were flagpoles, not weapons.

The mass-circulation de Telegraaf prints a photo of a protester gesticulating angrily at a policewoman and writes that police ended the Labour Day march after "some ultra left-wing activists verbally abused the police and refused to hand over their poles".

Trouw reports that Socialist Party members on Rotterdam Council have called for an emergency debate to discuss the way police responded to the demonstrators. The SP is questioning whether the police response was "proportionate".

Praise for Dutch pavilion at World Expo The World Expo in Shanghai opened at the weekend and after an earlier panic that it wouldn't be ready in time - the cloud of volcanic ash prevented flights transporting parts of the Dutch Expo from taking off - AD writes "high praise for Dutch pavilion," adding "thousands visited on the opening day".

Outgoing Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende opened the pavilion - called Happy Street - on Saturday and proudly announced "this really shows off the Netherlands at its best".

De Volkskrant reports that there were long queues of people waiting to get into the Dutch pavilion all weekend and it was a success, "Happy Street a real hit at Shanghai Expo".

Texel testing electric cars AD reports that the Friesian island of Texel has been chosen as one of the main sites for testing electric vehicles. Texel is the largest of the islands in the Friesian archipelago and is a popular tourist destination. The bicycle is the most common form of transport on the island, but AD says 19 companies have purchased 26 electric vehicles and 40 recharging points will be scattered across the island.

Outgoing transport minister Camiel Eurlings tells the paper "the test is designed to furnish us with the information necessary to make electric vehicles a success". Other projects in the Netherlands include electric rubbish lorries, recharge points at Schiphol airport, and electric cars for students and outpatient transport vehicles in Utrecht.

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