RNW Press Review, Wednesday 9 April 2008

9th April 2008, Comments 0 comments

Catch the news in brief from the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.

9 April 2008

Bill may prevent swearing in lower house of parliament
Trouw reports that a VVD politician is fed up with bad language in lower house of parliament. The paper writes that former deputy prime minister Johan Remkes is considering presenting a bill barring swearing and bad language from debates in the lower house of parliament.

According to Remkes, "if we're preaching to society that people have to treat each other with respect, then we have to set an example".

Until 2001, the leader of the lower house could scrap swearing, insults and other bad language from the official record of lower house debates. The deleted words were put on a separate record known as the corpse list. There have been repeated calls, mainly from Christian parties, for the restoration of the corpse list but so far the lower house has not restored the practice.

Many parties are opposed as most lower house debates are broadcast live on television, radio and the Internet these days, so scrapping swearing from the official record would be a complete and total waste of time.

Cabinet to debate on compensation measures to combat inflation
The lower house is scheduled to debate the cabinet's interim budget today and De Volkskrant writes that MPs will be discussing one of the most sensitive political issues of our time - the individual citizen's purchasing power.

Inflation is on the rise and people are beginning to feel the pinch. The paper prints a handy little table that details exactly how much worse off people are.

Opposition parties are calling for compensation measures, but the coalition parties are refusing to be swayed by their arguments. The finance minister has called on his fellow ministers to be "cautious" when writing their departmental budgets.

Opposition parties, both left and right wing, are not happy and have attacked government policies. One VVD MP says, "it is unbelievable that people are worse off while the economy is booming. The Dutch state is getting richer but the Dutch people are getting poorer".

According to a Freedom Party MP, "even people who work are having trouble making ends meet. The cabinet is just sitting idly by and making the problem worse". One Labour Party MP hit back saying, "what I find so difficult about this whole discussion is that people do not look any further than their own wallets".

Statistics Netherlands has published a personal inflation calculator on its website. According to Statistics Netherlands, the average consumption pattern is all well and good, but as each individual is different, the personal inflation calculator will enable people to see exactly how inflation is affecting their purchasing power.

Solutions to passports issues
All of today newspapers offered solutions to the problem of anybody being able to read the chip in your passport and discovering your national origin.

Trouw writes that people in the US wrap the chip page of their passport in aluminium foil to prevent it being read by any Tom, Dick or Harry.

De Telegraaf came up with the best solution. The paper searched the Internet for solutions to the chip problem, and writes that the most effective method is to give it a good whack with a hammer. Pass the tool box!

[Radio Netherlands / Jacqueline Carver / Expatica]

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