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‘Bomhoff’s Nyfer’ becomes a statistic of failure

18 December 2003

Amsterdam — Nyfer, the leading independent institute for public policy analysis, which led the debate about economic and social changes in the Netherlands for eight years, is closing down.

“It appears it is no longer feasible to finance independent, high-value economic research and drive the debate about society with private financing,” the institute said in a statement on Thursday.

Nyfer was founded by Professor Eduard Bomhoff in 1995 to challenge the stranglehold the government-funded macro-economic think-tank CBP has on compiling and analysing statistics about economic and social activities in the Netherlands.

The Dutch government bases it financial planning on the CPB’s reports, something that Bomhoff abhorred. He accused the CPB of constantly making inaccurate predictions about the future performance of the Dutch economy.

Bomhoff’s critics charged his institute of also missing the mark with its forecasts.

The professor got his chance in the driving seat of government when he was appointed a minister and Deputy Prime Minister for the populist LPF party after the general election in May 2002.

He stepped down from Nyfer to serve as Health Minister, but almost immediately got embroiled in an undignified personality clash with a fellow LPF minister, millionaire Herman Heinsbroek.

Constant bickering between the two men brought the coalition government between the Christian Democrat CDA, Liberal VVD and LPF crashing down after 87 days in office. Bomhoff has since taken up a lecturing post in the Middle East.

But Nyfer languished without its star personality and it was also damaged when questions were raised about the impartiality of its studies, which were paid for by private companies and organisations.

Nyfer eventually announced on Thursday that it was ceasing its research activities.

[Copyright Expatica News]

Subject: Dutch News