Press Review Thursday 24 June 2010

24th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

The coalition negotiations continue to make the headlines after the failure of yet another combination yesterday. The parties continue to dance around each other and the talks are beginning to resemble a game of musical chairs. Negotiator Uri Rosenthal has already investigated a Red/Green/Blue combination, a Purple-plus combination and today he's going to look at a rainbow coalition. What's next? A bruise coloured coalition?

Rosenthal investigates rainbow coalition "Cohen fumbles in coalition game," headlines De Telegraaf on its front-page and adds, "The coalition negotiations descended into confusion when Cohen scored an own goal by first proposing a rainbow coalition, and then withdrawing the proposal."

The populist broadsheet says Labour leader Job Cohen tossed a cat in among the canaries when he suggested a rainbow coalition consisting of the VVD, Labour, the Christian Democrat CDA, GreenLeft and D66. However, GreenLeft leader Femke Halsema and her D66 counterpart Alexander Pechtold shot the cat by rejecting the notion, so Mr Cohen had no choice but to withdraw the proposal.

Despite that, Senator Rosenthal says he will still investigate the possibility of a rainbow coalition although de Volkskrant doesn't refer to the combination quite like that: "Negotiator Rosenthal to investigate baffled and perplexed cabinet," sighs the paper and adds, "The prognosis doesn't look good; Labour, GreenLeft and D66 have already said it will never work."

Amsterdam gets new mayor Trouw reports that former integration minister Eberhard van der Laan is "almost certain to be appointed mayor of Amsterdam," after the capital's city council selected him in a secret ballot on Wednesday evening.

De Volkskrant says the appointment has to be confirmed by the cabinet but points out that this could be problematic. A former professor of constitutional law tells the paper that a caretaker cabinet "doesn't have the authority to make such an important appointment".

The left-wing paper says Amsterdam has only had Labour mayors since 1946 and if confirmed, Mr Van der Laan will be the eighth Labourite in succession.

AD reports that the city council is pleased with the choice and a VVD Councillor tells the paper, "Van der Laan is an Amsterdammer in heart and soul and we are very happy with the appointment."

Gays and lesbians still face problems in the Netherlands De Volkskrant writes that an investigation by the Social and Cultural Planning Office SCP has concluded that, "the lack of acceptance of lesbians and homosexuals among Orthodox Christians, the poorly educated and people from a Turkish or Moroccan background is a serious cause for concern".

The SCP report says that although there has been an improvement in social acceptance, more gay and lesbian teens consider suicide than their heterosexual counterparts. covers the report as well but borrows its headline from the gutter press: "gays kill themselves more often," says the paper, which claims to be a quality publication. The headline is not only stupid but it also inaccurate: given the nature of the act, one can only commit suicide once.

The SCP report says, "Fifty percent of gay and lesbian teens have considered suicide; 16 percent of young gays and nine percent of young lesbians have attempted suicide." The Dutch lesbian and gay rights organisations COC has called for a major initiative to prevent suicide among lesbian and gay teens.

Do not disturb: dead in the attic for four years Several papers cover the bizarre case of a man who lay dead in his bed in the attic for four years while his two brothers and two sisters lived downstairs. AD reports that 50-year-old Rienst Wolbers wasn't feeling very well and before he went up to bed in the attic, his final words to his four siblings were "leave me alone".

The paper says the four, "took him literally" and left him alone until the housing corporation wrote to say they would be coming along to assess the house for renovations. AD says the siblings decided to see what their brother was up to and were "amazed to find him dead in bed".

Trouw says the police say it is rather strange that the man wasn't discovered earlier and one officer tells the paper, "It's very peculiar that nobody smelled anything bad."

The weird and wonderful world of football superstitions The World Cup is still going on and football is still the main diet in the sports pages, but as the Dutch team doesn't play until later today, the papers just speculate endlessly about Oranje's chances to lift the trophy. However, AD also prints are a few of the more bizarre football stories.

"Patients can watch the World Cup in the ambulance," writes the paper. It appears that although "real football fans would rather writhe in pain in front of the TV than go to the hospital in the middle of a game," fans in Limburg don't have to worry any more because two ambulances are now equipped with televisions and ailing fans won’t have to miss a single goal.

The paper also reports that Roman Catholics watch more live coverage of football matches than people of other faiths and atheists. Protestants watch the least amount of football but Evangelical Protestants will turn the television on when the Dutch are playing.

Perhaps the oddest story is that several star players swear by a "secret armband". According to AD, "Dutch stars Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart are devotees of the power balance armband and wear it during matches."

However, the paper adds that not everybody is convinced of its efficacy and compares it to holy water.


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