RNW Press Review, Monday 2 June 2008
Catch the news in brief from the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.2 June 2008
Education reforms lower school standards
In an interview with the NRC Handelsblad, Education Minister Ronald Plasterk has admitted to the paper that education reforms have helped lower school standards.
He says that, although pupils are better at talking and presenting their ideas, basic literacy and numeracy skills have gone down. A recent parliamentary inquiry found that the reforms could not be blamed for lower educational standards, but the minister disagrees, saying that they have been responsible for the drop "here and there".
He thinks schools have been messed about so long with mandatory lessons on "the melting ice caps and information on homosexuality" that the basics have gone by the board.
However, the minister rejected the enquiry's conclusion that "the government has seriously neglected its core responsibility of ensuring the provision of sound education".
Milk collection resumes
Both Trouw and the AD have front-page photos of a boy coming up for air in a pool of milk. His smiling face, eyes tight closed, shows that children at least were pleased with the protest staged by dairy farmers angry at the low price being offered for the milk they produce.
Trouw, however, tells us that not all the protests were so warmly appreciated.
Hardliners from the Dutch Dairymen Board (DDB) have been blockading dairy production factories since Friday, demanding that companies increase the prices they pay for milk.
A spokesman for one of the companies, Friesland Foods, says the blockade meant milk collections had to be suspended on Saturday. "About 100 dairy farmers have had to throw away their milk because of this," he complains.
The DDB says a posse of about 70 farmers forced an end to most of the blockades over the weekend and that milk is again being collected. A DDB spokesman calls Friesland Foods' threat of court action to end the remaining blockade "an admission of weakness". He goes on to ask: "Why don't they just hold talks?"
Dutch eye 2028 Olympics
AD reports of a ministerial interview with Economic Affairs Minister Maria van der Hoeven who says the Netherlands should go all out to stage the 2028 Olympic Games.
She believes organising the games would give the Dutch economy an enormous boost. However, she warns: "Accessibility within the country will have to be improved. And we'll have to show we can organise large-scale sporting events like the European Football Championship and the World Cup."
Deputy Sports Minister Jet Bussemaker thinks a Dutch 2028 Olympics bid would have a good chance. "It's a matter of getting broad support from the population. And, from now on, we'll have to bear the Olympics in mind when building stadia and other facilities."
Meanwhile, a government report being delivered to parliament today highlights the important contribution of sport to the economy.
Dutch beats Wales 2-0
De Telegraaf treats its mass readership to a front-page photo of the Dutch national football team doing a lap of honour in the Rotterdam stadium after their 2-0 victory over Wales.
It was their last international friendly before they kick off in the European Championship. Although the paper says the win will "send them off with a good feeling", it admits Wales gave a lacklustre performance.
[Radio Netherlands / Mike Wilcox / Expatica]
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