RNW Press Review, Monday 21 April 2008

21st April 2008, Comments 0 comments

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

21 April 2008

PSV are the champions
Photos of Eindhoven's PSV soccer team celebrating their victory in the Dutch premier league have made the front pages of most of the papers today.
In De Telegraaf, the victorious team is seen being showered with red and white tickertape as they hold up the silver trophy. In contrast, a photo of a disappointed Ajax - the Amsterdam team that just missed the number one spot - is printed below.
PSV won 1-0 against Vitesse in Arnhem on Sunday, putting the Eindhoven club three points ahead of its main rival Ajax. This is PSV's fourth championship title in a row and the 21st in the club's history.
The city of Eindhoven held a special reception for its players attended by thousands of fans chanting "Champions, champions". 
Dutch soldiers’ bodies flown back
Trouw's front page is more sobering; with a photo of Dutch soldiers in Uruzgan paying their last respects to two dead colleagues as their coffins pass by on the back of a truck on their way to a waiting airplane.
The soldier's bodies were flown back to The Netherlands on Sunday. After a short ceremony at Eindhoven airbase, the bodies were returned to their families. One of the dead soldiers is the son of new Dutch defence chief Peter van Uhm. The soldiers died when their vehicle drove over a roadside bomb on Friday.
Inside Trouw, US terrorism specialist Laura Mansfield says the attack was revenge for the anti-Islam film Fitna, with the Taliban having said as much on their website. Two other soldiers who were seriously injured in the attack were flown back to the Netherlands on Saturday.

Military unions have called for more NATO support in the Uruzgan mission. De Volkskrant, meanwhile, asks "Are Dutch troops easy prey for the Taliban?"
Tens of thousands of euros spent to send delegates to Olympic Games
AD reports on concerns about municipalities sending representatives to the Olympic Games. The trips will cost tens of thousands of euros. The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Eindhoven say they will be using the opportunity to promote their cities at the games. Even a possible Olympic Games in the Netherlands in 2028 is being given as a reason to go.
The province of Flevoland, for example, is sending five delegates at a cost of EUR 30,000. Socialist Party MP Ronald van Raak comments: "I can't imagine they'll make much contact with businesses in the stadiums." 
GreenLeft MP Mariko Peters is also concerned about Dutch officials meeting up with Chinese ones.

"They indirectly support an inhumane regime which has become nothing but harsher in the run up to the Games."
D66 optimism
According to Trouw, the progressive liberal party Democrats 66 (or D66) is in the lift. After consistently losing seats in parliamentary elections in the past 12 years - while serving several of those years in different governments - there was optimism at the D66 party congress held in Rotterdam on Saturday.
In 2007, members were openly suggesting that it may be an idea to dissolve the party. The reason for the optimism was put down to the "Pechtold effect". D66 Leader Alexander Pechtold is described as the man who stands up to populism.
There was plenty of criticism of other parties at the congress. The Socialist Party and Rita Verdonk's Proud of the Netherlands in particular came in for a verbal bashing. "We're seeing politicians play on people's feeling of insecurity."
Only one delegate brought up the less popular issue of democracy, after the failure of two of the party's main policies: the use of referenda and the introduction of directly-elected mayors.

Party leader Pechtold, however, preferred to stick to criticising the government, accusing it of wanting to penetrate too far into people's lives, even into their minds.
[Radio Netherlands / Nicola Chadwick / Expatica]

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