Press Review Wednesday 14 July 2010
The Dutch get over their football hangover with a massive street party; Dutch teenagers going wild in a Cretan holiday resort, and the Netherlands convicts its first Twitter criminal.
“ ‘What are all these people in strange clothes doing here?’
‘They’re waiting for a boat with the players of our national team. There’s a tribute to them today because they were in the World Cup.’
‘And the Netherlands won? Congratulations man!’...”
An AD columnist quotes a conversation involving an American tourist along an Amsterdam canal on Tuesday. It occurred at what was, in fact, the chance for Dutch football fans to show they were, in the words of De Telegraaf, “Proud to be second best in the world”. It was Tuesday’s much-anticipated public ‘welcome home’ for the Dutch football team. The Dutch weren’t going to let the fact that they lost get in the way of a massive street party.
Dutch get over the hangover with goose bumps and ecstasy The dailies are plastered with pictures of what populist daily De Telegraaf describes as the “ecstatic reception for Orange heroes”. There’s a double-page spread of the squad posing awkwardly with the Queen in their matching grey suits. And many more-relaxed shots of them back in their shorts on their boat trip through Amsterdam, waving bottles of Heineken beer sponsorship again? at the crowds lining the canals. And of the hordes of fans – 700,000 of them apparently, so AD reports.
There were actually 300,000 fewer guests at the party than Amsterdam had catered for, but enough for impressive “sea of orange” pictures. Naturally, they feature plenty of so-called “Bavaria babes” in their skimpy orange beer-promotion dresses. AD sums up: “Goodbye hangover. Hello goose bumps.”
“In football, second place is nothing. And if you see how they played, they actually deserved a good hiding,” Paul Schnabel of the Netherlands Institute for Social Research tells de Volkskrant. So why all the “ecstasy” and “goose bumps”? The Dutch are “pretty nationalistic” and like to feel part of a crowd, Mr Schnabel concludes. And according to a banner observed by de Volkskrant, they’re “inconsolably proud.”
Dutch teenage holidaymakers head for “drinking paradise” Sunday’s World Cup final narrowly failed to attract a record number of Dutch TV viewers, AD reports. In fact it was the semi-final that claimed the record, with 12,270,000 viewers – around 70 percent of the population. The paper observes that this was probably because, by Sunday, a lot of people had already headed off on holiday.
De Volkskrant has a feature on where some of those Dutch holidaymakers can be found: the “drinking paradise” of Chersonissos on the Greek island of Crete. Eurocross Assistance, an insurance organisation that helps Dutch tourists in trouble abroad, says the figures for alcohol abuse among Dutch teenagers at the resort are “alarming”. The young Dutch people who head to Chersonissos “go to do the only two things you can do there: sunbathing and drinking”.
“As soon as tourists arrive here, they turn into animals,” says a local shopkeeper. “They fight in the bars and drive like lunatics.” One Dutch teenager says her peers come to Chersonissos to “find their limits”. But a group of 23-year-olds from Groningen say they already know their limits: they drink all day. “We start when we wake up.”
Low pay and “abuses” for Eastern European migrant workers As the Dutch head off abroad to laze on the beach, it’s a hard life back in the Netherlands for Eastern European summer migrant workers, the protestant daily Trouw reports. Despite the crisis, growing numbers of migrants are heading to the Netherlands from countries like Bulgaria and Romania in search of seasonal agricultural work.
The wages may be higher than back home, says Trouw, but according to the latest report by the labour inspectorate, the migrants are often underpaid and face “abuses” in dangerous working conditions.
Polish workers are increasingly being replaced by Bulgarians, who are prepared to accept even lower wages. Employers often slash pay ‘to cover’ the cost of the workers’ bed and board, and so-called ‘training’.
You might think rising unemployment in the Netherlands would reduce the need to employ migrant labour, says Trouw, but evidently Dutch employers find the willing supply of cheap labour from the East too tempting to resist.
First Dutch Twitter criminal convicted The first person in the Netherlands to be convicted of Twitter crime has been sentenced to 100 hours’ community service, de Volkskrant reports. After the World Cup semi-final against Uruguay, the 18-year-old in question sent out an appeal on Twitter for people to head en masse for a square in The Hague which has become notorious for post-football match rioting. “Gas the plainclothes police,” he tweeted.
AD has the details: “In the context of earlier disturbances, this was an invitation to come and riot on the square,” the judge concluded. However, it seems the public prosecutor still has to get used to dealing with crime in the social networking age. The letters “RT, RT, RT” in one of the messages was intended to represent the sound of gunshots, the prosecutor claimed. Until someone pointed out it’s the abbreviation for “retweet”.
“Men can’t help staring at good-looking women” “Men ‘have to’ look at good-looking women,” according to a study carried out at Amsterdam’s VU University and reported on in the popular daily AD. The researchers used EEG scans to observe how men and women responded to people’s appearance.
And it’s one of those academic studies that discovers what everybody knew already. Heterosexual men respond strongly to good-looking women. Heterosexual women look less at appearance but are more interested in a man’s status.
“When they see an attractive lady, for a moment they’re completely thrown,” psychology professor Mark van Vugt tells AD. “It’s then hard for them to concentrate and get on with what their doing.” It seems the male brain is programmed to spot good-looking women. This sounds like academic research that plenty of men will be citing to their wives and girlfriends.
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