RNW Press Review - Wednesday 30 January 2008
A roundup of today's press by Radio Netherlands.
RNW Press Review - Wednesday 30 January 2008 - by Jacqueline Carver
Several of this morning's papers deal with the Christian Union's call to ban the broadcast of the world's most famous porn film. The announcement by two public broadcasters that they are going to screen Deep Throat has upset the junior coalition party member and a number of smaller Christian parties. De Volkskrant writes that CU leader, Andre Rouvoet has issued "a moral appeal" to BNN and the VPRO in an attempt to prevent the broadcast.
The Protestant Trouw reports that the 1972 porno classic will come at the end of an evening dedicated to pornography. As foreplay, the viewer will be treated to a special called Spit or Swallow followed by Inside Deep Throat, a 2005 documentary examining the impact that the controversial film had on the sexual revolution.
The paper quotes a Christian Union MP as saying "Deep Throat is an historic symbol of shameless sexual exploitation and the perverse lust for profit". The leader of the SGP, a small right-wing Christian party, has called on the culture minister to ban the broadcast and both parties are outraged by the fact that the television stations are publicly financed.
Trouw also interviewed a BNN spokesperson who says, "we think it's important for young people to be able to form their own opinions about issues". According to De Volkskrant, the criticism has "absolutely floored" the VPRO. The paper quotes a spokesperson as saying, "everybody seems to have an opinion about it but nobody has called us".
AD reports that the justice ministry is going to intensify its battle against internet gambling by making it illegal for banks and credit card companies to facilitate payments from Dutch citizens to foreign gambling sites. Within the next few months, the justice ministry will publish the names of companies that Dutch banks and credit card institutions are no longer allowed to do business with.
Internet gambling is illegal in the Netherlands but De Volkskrant reports that an investigation by Holland Casino found that around 400,000 Dutch people gamble via the Internet annually and spend between 90 and 280 million euros.
Interestingly enough, the Dutch Senate will be debating a bill to legalise gambling later today. The justice ministry is concerned that legalisation will lead to more people becoming addicted to gambling.
However, De Volkskrant reports that the European Commission has criticised Dutch gambling laws as they do, in effect, create a monopoly and hinder the free transfer of goods and services within the European Union. The Hague says there are no EU-wide laws about gambling and that the Netherlands is within its rights to contravene laws in order to prevent criminal activity and addiction.
* Free textbooks
The Council of State, the highest government advisory, body has severely criticised a cabinet plan to introduce free schoolbooks. Trouw covers the story on its front page, headlining, "Council of State slams plan". The scheme, in a bill introduced by the deputy education minister, entails the government giving schools extra money to buy textbooks that are handed out to parents for free. The cabinet claims the measure will give financial support to parents with school-age children.
The council of state says it is amazed by the cabinet's "generosity" and that the measure gives "support to those who need it least ". The advisory body points out that low-income parents already get financial subsidies to pay for schoolbooks and that subsidies given to poor parents will be cut once the measure comes into effect.
* Easy money
AD writes that Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has defended spending 60,000 euros on a new government logo. When the new cabinet took office, it decided to create a single logo and in-house style for all government departments and agencies in order to create a more unified look. The launch date was given as 2007. However, AD writes that various government departments have spent a total of 180,000 euros over the last two years on new logos even though they were well aware that a single logo was about to be introduced.
The new design has caused quite a controversy as it appears to be a simple copy of an old logo. But the prime minister claims that although the new logo closely resembles an old one, it has been adjusted and is now part of a whole new house style.
A Socialist party MP who questioned the expenditure commented on the new design, "the old one is blue with a white background, a new one is white with a blue background. I wouldn't mind earning my money like that."
De Telegraaf reports that Dutch men are pushing Dutch women out of the way when it comes to getting in front of the mirror. An investigation has revealed that in contrast to their European counterparts, Dutch men spend more time in front of the mirror than women.
The investigation found that Dutch men spend an average of 15 minutes examining their reflections while Dutch women spend just 13 minutes beautifying themselves. I'd like to be able to say that I see some evidence of this as I look at my colleagues but perhaps we start too early in the morning for vanity.
[Copyright Radio Netherlands 2008]
Subject: Dutch news