Dutch news in brief, Tuesday 21 July 2009

21st July 2009, Comments 0 comments

Read the roundup of today's Dutch press from Radio Netherlands.

Iceland's parliament threatens to veto Icesave agreement
Money is the common thread linking the stories on Dutch dailies Tuesday. The repercussions from the economic crisis are still being felt across the globe as people remain uncertain about the future and are saving for a rainy day.

NRC.next writes deposits into savings accounts in the Netherlands increased by 60 percent over the first five months of this year.

De Volkskrant reports severe financial weather seems to be edging closer for the Dutch government as the Icesave agreement is in jeopardy.

According to the paper, Iceland's parliament is threatening to veto the agreement between the Netherlands and Iceland over repaying the millions that Dutch account holders lost when the Icelandic internet savings bank Icesave went bankrupt in October 2008.

Under the terms of the deal, the Icelandic government agreed to repay the money. However as the country was drowning in debt, The Hague lent Reykjavik EUR 1.3 billion so it could make the repayments. However, the agreement was provisional and Iceland's parliament, the Althingi, had to approve the agreement.

That agreement is now sailing into in rough waters because a slim majority in the Althingi is opposed to the deal. The opposition claims the entire Icelandic banking sector collapsed because the Dutch and British governments declared Icesave's parent company Landsbanki financially unsound.

GreenLeft: Subsidise mini-windmills
De Telegraaf reports the GreenLeft party has come up with a way to save the environment and save everybody money: the party has called on the government to make it easier for people to put a mini-windmill on the roof so they can generate their own electricity.

The paper says the GreenLeft has called on the government to abolish the tangled web of rules and regulations governing subsidies for mini-windmills. There are currently 300 mini-windmills in use in the country.

De Telegraaf  suggests if it was easier to apply for a subsidy and a licence, the number of mini-windmills could dramatically increase and provide work for 260 people and environmentally friendly-electricity for 10,000 households. 

Fewer tourists in the Netherlands and spending less
Preliminary figures released by the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions (NBTC) suggest chilly winds of recession are whistling through the Dutch tourist industry.

"Steady reduction in number of tourists visiting the Netherlands" headlines AD, above rather grim news that there were 15 percent fewer tourists visiting the Netherlands in the first quarter of this year. An NBTC spokesperson tells the paper they have seen a dramatic drop in the number of tourists visiting the Netherlands since 2008.

Bad news from the NBTC comes hard on the heels of worse news from Statistics Netherlands (CBS). AD writes the most recent CBS computation reveals that spending by foreign tourists dropped by 17 percent during the first three months of 2009, falling to just EUR 1 billion.

Nijmegen four-day march puts its best foot forward
The International Four-Day Marches Nijmegen kicked off early this morning and several papers print photos of people getting ready to take part; they all look fresh and clean and cheerful.

De Telegraaf prints a photo of a meeting between the oldest and youngest participants in the 93rd edition of the four-day walking event: 87-year-old Mar Smit is pictured with two 11-year-olds.

She told them: "Listen boys, the Nijmegen March is the best thing in the world, if you do it once, you'll be hooked for life". So far, she has racked up 42,000 kilometres in the Nijmegen walking event.

Radio Netherlands / Jacqueline Carver / Expatica

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