RNW Press Review, Monday 14 July 2008
Catch the news in brief from the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.14 July 2008
Dutch monarchy costs EUR 114 million
What does it cost to have a monarchy? The Dutch parliament sprung that question on the prime minister recently, and Balkenende didn't know the answer even though he should have sent that question coming.
Two years ago, a controversy erupted when it was revealed that Queen Beatrix's yacht was maintained by the Royal Dutch Navy and hence at the taxpayer's expense. Since then, the issue of yachts, private jets and all those other bothersome trifles have been nagging the government.
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende was supposed to put the whole problem to rest with a revised financial statute for the Royal Family. That, according to NRC.next, was going to finally reveal what the House of Orange costs.
According to a professor in Brussels, the Dutch royal house costs EUR 114 million a year.
This makes Beatrix and the other ‘Oranges’ the second most expensive royal family in Europe, after the British.
When sacking of Fortis chairman isn’t enough
The country’s most popular daily, De Telegraaf has bigger fish to fry Monday as it carries report on the banking and insurance giant Fortis in bold headlines - underlined in red - that the sacking of Fortis Chairman of the Board Jean-Paul Votron "is not enough"!
So what has Fortis done to get people so upset? Well, it surprised the financial world in June with the announcement that it needs a capital injection of some EUR 8 billion. That was enough to send the share value tumbling - a severe blow to a bank that was already in serious trouble.
Votron, the chairman, had told investors just three weeks earlier that the bank was financially healthy. But after the solvency problems became clear, he was forced to resign.
But that’s not the end of the story. De Telegraaf also tells us that the Dutch Financial Markets Authority, the main stock market watchdog, has received a request from investors to investigate whether Fortis Chairman Votron knowingly deceived shareholders.
Canadian singer Leonard Cohen in Amsterdam
Canadian singer Leonard Cohen was in Amsterdam last weekend where he played to a mixed audience of fans in their twenties and thirties, reports de Volkskrant.
The paper reports that his fans were surprisingly young and concluded the endorsement Cohen once received from the late Kurt Cobain (of Nirvana fame) raised his street credibility for these generations.
There were also lots of baby-boomers who loved his music in the 1960s and 70s.
Especially for these folks, the organisers set up seating, because they are getting older.
As for Leonard Cohen - a man who's known for his moody and some would say even depressing music, he apparently showed little sign of his age, the paper says.
The 73-year-old singer whose ex-manager embezzled his entire life savings back in 2005, left him with little choice but to continue performing to earn a living.
The singer sang for a whole two-and-a-half hours at Wester Park where he thanked the Amsterdam crowd for keeping his songs alive all these years.
Elderly drivers cause more accident than young ones
On the theme of ‘old age’, the popular mainstream daily Algemeen Dagblad says, "Senior citizens have more fender-benders". Yes, the paper confirms what many of us have suspected for years: elderly drivers it seems do cause more accidents than younger ones.
The news comes from a scientific institute that’s concluded that elderly drivers are the cause of 65 percent of all accidents they're involved in. For much younger drivers, that percentage is considerably lower.
Following this study, calls are being made for a legal requirement that ageing drivers report to the authorities any medical conditions that impair their driving ability.
[Radio Netherlands / Robert Chesal / Expatica]
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