Dutch news in brief, Wednesday 6 May 2009

6th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

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

Dutch fury over tax haven accusation
AD reports The Hague is on a collision course with the White House over the accusation that the Netherlands is a tax haven. According to the paper, The Hague was surprised and "overwhelmed" on Monday evening when US President Barack Obama said the Netherlands was "a corporate tax haven".

De Telegraaf writes Finance Minister Wouter Bos was furious and called the accusation "absolutely unjust".

De Volkskrant reports the White House withdrew the accusation and removed the Netherlands from the list after a meeting with the Dutch ambassador. However, Bos fears the accusation has already damaged the country's reputation.

AD names some of the multinationals and others, including The Rolling Stones, David Beckham and U2, who have set up corporations in this country in order to "benefit from the attractive tax climate".

Subdued Liberation Day celebrations
Photographs of Tuesday's Liberation Day celebrations appeared in several papers.

A smiling Queen Beatrix dominates the front page of the populist De Telegraaf while the left-wing de Volkskrant has a photo of a smiling woman celebrating in 'S-Hertogenbosch. Trouw publishes a photograph of a rather sombre-looking Queen Beatrix at an open-air concert in Amsterdam.

The paper writes that yesterday’s celebrations were more subdued than in previous years, but went ahead as planned.

Trouw reports on a controversy surrounding the traditional Liberation Day parade in Wageningen.

For the second year in a row, the organising committee was forced to back down and allow veterans from other conflicts to march in the parade, reports Trouw

The parade was originally held to commemorate the liberation of the Netherlands from Nazi Germany and only WWII veterans are entitled to take part, according to the organising committee.  However, veterans from other conflicts believe they have a right to take part in the parade.

However, many WWII veterans welcome their younger counterparts because there are so few of them left. An 84-year-old veteran quoted in the paper said: "There were 40 men in my battalion, and there are just two of us left now."

Independent investigation into Queen's Day attack
Apeldoorn Mayor Fred de Graaf announced Tuesday a wide-ranging independent investigation into the Queen's Day attack, reports Trouw.

The daily says the investigation will base its report on reports by the three organisations already probing the attack.

AD reports members of a German Christian sect already know the answer. Two sect members "swearing and shouting Sodom and Gomorrah" interrupted a church service in Apeldoorn to inform people that the attack on the Royal family was due to "divisions within Christianity".

New theories on van Gogh's chopped ear
A new theory on who called off van Gogh’s ear has emerged in a new book – Van Gogh's Ear, Paul Gauguin and the Pact of Silence.

Theories have been circulating for decades and 121 years after the bloody events, the book talks about Gauguin cut off the famous painter’s ear after a row.

In response to the new book, experts featured in the newspapers presented two opposing views. NRC.next's headline points the finger of guilt at the friend: "Gauguin chopped off van Gogh's ear" while AD reports views of experts at Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum: "Vincent cut his own ear off".

The book is the result of 10 years of research by German art historians Hans Kaufman and Rita Wildegans. After studying letters between the pair, conflicting versions given by Gauguin himself, police reports and eyewitness accounts, they conclude that Gauguin did it in the street with a sword. The two men agreed to hush it up to prevent trouble with the police.

"There are no new facts in the book,” said Van Gogh Museum expert Leo Jansen, adding, "there are huge gaps in what we know about Vincent van Gogh and many people speculate about what could have happened".

Jacqueline Carver / Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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