Press Review Wednesday 7 July 2010

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The entire nation has gone football mad and it’s certainly reflected in this morning's papers; last night's exciting but extremely nerve wracking 3-2 victory over Uruguay in the World Cup semi-finals is on all of the front pages and photos and stories about the Orange squad are splashed liberally through the papers as well. They all have photographs of the Dutch team celebrating after the final whistle blew and the Netherlands went through to their first World Cup final in 32 years.

"Brilliant! And now the finals," screams AD on its front page across a photo of a scrum of players hugging and kissing Giovanni van Bronckhorst after he scored the opening goal in last night's match. "Orange is on the way to everlasting fame," says the paper and adds "just one victory is separating the Dutch team from being able to call themselves the best in the world".

"At last, icons for the fast food generation," is's assessment of the Dutch team's place in history. An columnist writes, "Finally, our generation gets its own heroes, this time without sideburns". De Volkskrant's rather workmanlike headline reads "Orange in final after 32 years," but makes up for the dull headline with a huge front-page photo of van Bronckhorst celebrating after scoring his truly magnificent goal.

Trouw writes "Orange goes through to dream final," and adds "finally, the Dutch team will be able to exorcise the trauma of the defeats in '74 and '78". It remains to be seen whether the final will be another defeat at the hands of archrivals Germany or whether we’ll manage to bring home the cup.

"The finals," roars De Telegraaf, adding, "Orange smells gold". The populist paper has more football stories and photos than all the other papers put together, although AD is a close runner-up. De Telegraaf's sports section leads with "And now the cup," adding that it's the third time we've managed to make it through to the finals. The paper adds, somewhat hopefully and with fingers crossed I'm sure, "third time lucky". Coalition negotiators call for slimmed down agreement The teams negotiating a new coalition agreement got down to serious business on Tuesday and the two men appointed to lead the negotiations - Senator Uri Rosenthal and former MP and chair of the Council for Public Administration Jacques Wallage - gave a rather stern press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

Trouw has a photo of the pair deftly deflecting journalists questions and reports that they are aiming for "a slimmed-down coalition agreement that outlines policies but leaves room for the lower house to influence decision-making".

"Purple-plus aiming for short agreement with room for deals with opposition," writes de Volkskrant above photographs of the four party negotiators: VVD leader Mark Rutte and GreenLeft counterpart Femke Halsema both have broad grins on their faces; Labour leader Job Cohen looks ready to get down to business but D66 leader Alexander Pechtold looks a bit worried. Mr Pechtold may well have cause to look worried as the paper adds, "opposition parties have no faith in a compact governing agreement".

To twitter or not to twitter Senator Uri Rosenthal coined a new word at yesterday's press conference: "I'm calling for untwittering,” he said. The coalition negotiators demanded, "Complete radio, television and newspaper silence," as well as "untwittering". Trouw prints to photo of champion twitterer Femke Halsema and writes, "to twitter or not to twitter, that is the question".

Twittering was a brand new tactic during the campaign and was used to great effect by GreenLeft leader Femke Halsema. The paper writes that she is The Hague's top twitterer but she promised, "to keep her fingers still".

According to Trouw, Alexander Pechtold refused to comply with the negotiators’ demand and immediately sent this tweet: "Just to be absolutely clear: I'll keep on twittering. A detailed, nuanced report on the negotiations is impossible to write in 140 characters".

Safe to swim in the canals again De Volkskrant reports that it is safe to swim in the country's canals again. According to the paper, it used to be a common sight to see people jumping into the canals and playing in the water but that stopped in the 1970s when people realised how dirty and polluted the water was.

However, things have changed: water expert Willem Ligvoet tells the paper that when he sees people swimming in Utrecht's canals, he doesn't immediately think about calling an ambulance. "Twenty or thirty years ago, that would have really worried me," he says.

Mr Ligvoet says we have Brussels to thank for the huge improvement in water quality and just a few of the 550 official natural bodies of water in the Netherlands do not meet government and European standards for cleanliness.

De Volkskrant’s report is timely and will certainly be welcomed by the hundreds of overheated football fans who jumped into the canals to cool off after last night's World Cup victory.

'Torture Joran' game is all the rage AD writes that people who can't wait for Joran van der Sloot to be convicted for murder by a Peruvian court can "play judge, jury and executioner" on a number of internet gaming sites run by

The 'game' allows players to torture Mr Van de Sloot with electric shocks until he confesses to the murder of Stephany Flores. Roundgames director Tijmen Crone tells the paper, "No, it’s not too gruesome or offensive. Far worse things happen to other famous people in internet games. I thought it would be really fun to do something with all the publicity surrounding the case."

Kenney Vleugels says it took him 10 minutes to think up the game and he produced a finished version in two days. "Tasteless? No way, it's a parody," Mr Vleugels tells the paper.

Bert de Rooij, the lawyer representing Mr Van der Sloot, says he thinks it's bizarre that a game like that has been developed: "It's evidence of a very sick mind."  

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