Press Review Thursday 8 July 2010

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It's football, football, football again today in all the papers even though we didn't play last night. Spain's 1-0 victory over Germany last night means that we will have to beat the Spanish team on Sunday evening if we want to take home the only major football trophy that we have never won.

World Cup victory good for the economy "Olé Oranje," sings AD on its front page underneath photos of two of the world's best strikers, the Netherlands' Wesley Sneijder and Spain's David Villa. "Who will take home the trophy," asks the paper. De Telegraaf seems fairly certain that Oranje will triumph: "Bring 'em on," says the paper confidently. That confidence is shared by the paper's readers: 77 percent of people responding to De Telegraaf's Wednesday poll say they are certain the Dutch will win the World Cup.

De Volkskrant reports that winning the World Cup will increase Dutch economic growth by between 0.1 and 0.5 percent, but a German victory would be better for the world economy. The paper bases its conclusions on a series of interviews with several economists.

Professor José Bloemer tells the paper that the mood in the winning country becomes "euphoric" and that the euphoria "increases consumer confidence". The professor warns, "This doesn't mean that people will be splashing cash left, right and centre," but "euphoric people are more inclined to make major purchases".

Another economist tells the paper that there's no hard evidence that winning the World Cup increases economic growth, but the fact that the last six victors saw strong economic growth in the winning year, "is certainly a very interesting coincidence".

Houseboat owners fear victory parade through canals Whether or not we triumph on Sunday evening, plans for a victory parade in Amsterdam are well on the way. The parade through the canals will take place on Tuesday but not everybody is looking forward to it: "Oh no, not again," headlines De Telegraaf above a photo of a crowd of people standing on top of a houseboat during the parade celebrating Oranje's 1988 European Cup victory. The houseboat is slowly sinking into the water under the weight of the people dancing on the roof.

The paper says several boats were sunk during the '88 parade after fans clambered on top of the boats to get a bit closer to their heroes. Houseboat owners aren't taking any chances this time around. " I'll be putting a big fence up round the boat," one worried owner tells the paper.

"Houseboat owners fear repeat of '88," writes de Volkskrant. Adding, "The damage was enormous." One owner says she'll be inviting friends round to help defend her floating home and another says, "If things get out of hand, I'll send my boy up there with a rake."

Wilders nominated for free speech prize Trouw reports that a Freedom Party Euro parliamentarian has nominated party leader Geert Wilders for the Sakharov Prize, the European parliaments' award to individuals who have made significant contributions to freedom of speech. Referring to Mr Wilders' prosecution for his anti-Islam film Fitna, MEP Barry Madlener tells the paper, "It's a disgrace that someone who has been fighting for freedom of speech is prosecuted for his defence of free speech."

The prize, named after Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, has been awarded to such notables as Nelson Mandela and comes with a 50,000 Euro award. AD writes that MEP Madlener's nomination has "unleashed a storm of criticism from other parties". D66 MEP Sophie in 't Veld tells the paper: "The nomination is an insult to people who live under dictatorships."

Coalition talks: parties agree on eight to ten ministers "Purple-plus aims for cabinet with between eight and 10 ministers," is a rather wordy headline in de Volkskrant. The left-wing paper reports that all four parties - VVD, Labour, D66 and GreenLeft - around the negotiating table agree that the number of ministerial posts should be cut. According to the paper, "insiders in the Hague" - say GreenLeft and D66 - will get one minister each and Labour and VVD will get three apiece.

The paper says the move is entirely in keeping with campaign promises of cutting bureaucracy and none of the parties will have any problems selling the idea to their members.

Trouw headlines "Purple parties favour slimmed down cabinet" and reports that the VVD believes it will make the cabinet "more efficient and more congenial".

Economic crisis hits charities De Volkskrant reports that charities are feeling the pinch due to the global economic crisis. The paper's annual investigation into the financial state of charities in the Netherlands has revealed that "the good times are over" and the 20 largest charities saw a slight fall in donations in 2009.

The paper reports that charities had to spend more in order to get the same amount: in 2008 charities spent 153 euros on advertising and fundraising in order to get 1000 euros, but had to spend 164 euros in 2009.

AD reports that Dutch World Cup goals have been filling UNICEF's charity boxes. A month before the tournament started, UNICEF started an internet campaign calling on people to donate 1 euro 50 for every Dutch goal scored during the tournament.

AD writes, "Van Bronckhorst, Sneijder and Robben probably didn't realise it, but when they scored on Tuesday night and got the Netherlands into the final, kids across the world were getting gold."

I hope Oranje scores a baker’s dozen on Sunday.  

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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