Press Review Wednesday 16 June 2010

16th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

The election is over and although the country is facing extremely difficult times, the coalition negotiations have slipped off the front pages and in some cases, out of the papers altogether. The World Cup tournament is underway in South Africa and football stories generate far more column inches in the populist papers than the extremely complicated coalition talks.

Trouw and de Volkskrant focus on politics and the negotiations between VVD leader Mark Rutte and his PVV counterpart Geert Wilders. But as both men were told not to reveal any details, the papers shine the spotlight on the Christian Democrats; the party lost 20 seats in last week's elections but as a third party is necessary for the prospective coalition, the CDA is being wooed assiduously by Geert Wilders and somewhat more gently by Mark Rutte. The CDA's new leader, Maxime Verhagen, has refused to consider joining the negotiations until the VVD and PVV have reached an agreement.

"No comment" on coalition negotiations Trouw and de Volkskrant agree that the coalition talks between the centre-right free-market liberal VVD party and the right-wing populist PVV party are "intricate". De Volkskrant reports that Mark Rutte and Geert Wilders emerged from the second round of talks with negotiator Uri Rosenthal with smiles on their faces and identical messages for the swarm of journalists that immediately surrounded them: "no comment". Both men characterised the talks as "positive," but refused to say anything further.

Given the paucity of information on the negotiations, Trouw's account of the talks is almost identical to de Volkskrant's. The Protestant paper turns its attention to Mr Wilders' wooing of the CDA: "coalition talks without the CDA are a waste of time," said Mr Wilders, adding, "if Verhagen doesn't want to join the PVV in governing, he should say so. If he is considering joining the coalition, then he should attend the talks". The PVV sees the CDA's participation as key to a successful coalition but Mr Verhagen doesn't see it that way and tweeted: "CDA has the key? Where's the door?"

CDA caught between the rock and the hard place The Christian Democrats are in an extremely difficult position: de Volkskrant writes that Mr Verhagen is coming under increasing pressure from his own party not to join the coalition and to "take its place on the opposition benches". Trouw writes that although a few senior CDA politicians support joining a coalition with the PVV, "the list of those vehemently opposed to joining a coalition with Mr Wilders' PVV is far longer and headed by CDA heavyweights".

Trouw says the CDA's new leader is caught between a rock and a hard place; Mr Verhagen says he has to consider the party's duty to the country in these "difficult economic times," but he also has to consider the opinions of prominent CDA members and the threatened "schism if the CDA gets into bed with Mr Wilders". Several regional chiefs say they will split off from the national party and the leader of an influential group within the party tells Trouw, "If the CDA enters a coalition with the PVV, the party will explode".

Violence against LGBT people increasing AD reports that a gay couple have fled their Utrecht neighbourhood after a sustained campaign of threats and intimidation by a group of immigrant teens. reports that the couple decided to sell their home after "18 months of physical and verbal abuse and acts of vandalism, including bricks through their windows". According to AD, Utrecht Mayor Aleid Wolfsen says the council will take "severe measures, including eviction, if the youths are caught in the act". reports that violence against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals LGBT is increasing in urban areas and Moroccan youths are "over represented among the culprits".

The paper says the LGBT community is fighting back; a large demonstration took place on Sunday in Amsterdam and the city council will discuss the rising violence today. The chair of the COC, the Dutch LGBT rights organisation, says there have been at least five serious incidents in the last six weeks and "one lesbian was forced to move because of the threats and intimidation by teenagers in her neighbourhood".

Costs could cost Arnhem the National Historical Museum De Volkskrant reports that Arnhem may lose the proposed National Historical Museum due to the costs of the parking lot. The location of the museum has been the subject of serious argument ever since it was first proposed; Amsterdam and The Hague both wanted it but a committee eventually decided it would be built in Arnhem next to a large open-air museum.

The government has allocated a maximum of 50 million euros for the construction of the new museum but according to secret documents seen by de Volkskrant, the cost of constructing a parking lot will be at least 60 million euros. The paper says, "It is extremely unlikely that 60 million euros will be spent on a parking lot".

'Bavaria Babes' arrested at Jo'burg match AD and De Telegraaf both lead with news that South African police and FIFA officials arrested the 'Bavaria Babes' at the Denmark-Netherlands match on Monday. Budweiser is one of the tournament's major sponsors and has spent millions in exchange for exclusive advertising rights. Bavaria's extremely clever - and in comparison extremely cheap - campaign of getting sexy women to wear a tight fitting orange dress has upset Budweiser and FIFA.

However, Bavaria has been very careful and very clever, the logo is nowhere on the dress and technically, does not contravene FIFA regulations.

A Bavaria spokesman tells AD, "it’s an absolute scandal that FIFA arrested girls for wearing an orange dress without any advertising on it whatsoever". The paper writes that Bavaria bosses are "laughing fit to bust". Director Peer Swinkels says, "we couldn’t not hope for better, everybody is talking about our dress and our name isn't even on it".  

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