Geert Wilders reportedly pushes for the immigration minister to be chucked out of government and another MP pretends he knows what he is talking about. The Dutch are happy moaning, an 11-year-old solves the euro crisis and the queen is busy cutting ribbons.
Reviewed Dutch dailies
Immigration Minister Gerd Leers appears to have got himself into a pickle. He is not only under fire from parliament, he is also reportedly at the receiving end of scorn from Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders.
De Volkskrant writes that, according to its sources, Mr Wilders has demanded the minister’s dismissal as a concession for the sacrifices his party will have to make in the current round of government cuts. Mr Leers was in parliament yesterday to defend himself on two counts. Firstly the row he has got himself into with a mayor who has ordered local police not to aid the deportation of an Afghan man. Secondly because of comments he made to a journalist about a former underage asylum seeker.
While parliament is urging for leniency in hardship cases, Mr Wilders is demanding a hard line. Minister Leers is stuck between a rock and a hard place. His performance in parliament was considered weak. De Volkskrant comments that a pattern is forming: first Mr Leers takes a hard line, arousing the anger of the opposition and part of his own party. Then after reassuring parliament, he faces the wrath of the Freedom Party.
Labour MP pretends he’s on the ball
A Labour MP has got egg on his face after pretending to know all about the early release of a “street terrorist” after being confronted by a journalist on the make-believe matter concerning a certain ‘Jael Jablabla’ . Parliamentarian John Leerdam said “The party’s deputy chairman had definitely discussed the case and will keep an eye on developments”. However, he declined to give further details when pushed for more information, but did claim he knew more about the case than the journalist.
It might not have been so bad if the same MP hadn’t forgotten just a day earlier that former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon has been in a coma for six years. When asked what he thought about Sharon’ s offer of asylum to President Assad of Syria, he said it was a matter for the United Nations and that the Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal should follow developments. The MP is replacing a colleague while she is on maternity leave. De Volkskrant comments, “He’s probably not the first MP to pretend to know about something he doesn’t.”
Grumpy Dutch are a happy lot
The Dutch are known to complain a lot, so you would think they were a miserable bunch. But far from it, according to the 2012 World Happiness Report the Netherlands comes in fourth place, behind the Danes, Finns and Norwegians. AD reports the reason behind their contentment is all that moaning.
In the popular daily, Ruud van Veen professor at the Erasmus University explains. “The Dutch are content with their own lives, which they know a lot about. They are critical about society, which they do not know much about.”
Complaining a lot means that things get done and that makes people happier. However, the Dutch have been at the top of the table for years. They have clean water, good health care, ample food, freedom of expression and reliable government. You would think they had nothing left to complain about.
But AD has a tip: If you want to make people even happier, invest in mental health. Half of those who are unhappy have mental health problems and countries that invest more in this area are happier places. Unfortunately, mental health care is high on the list of government cuts.
Eleven-year-old Dutch boy solves eurocrisis
An 11-year-old Dutch boy has won a prize for his solution for the euro crisis. According to nrc.next, little Jurre Hermans sent a drawing to the Wolfson Economic Prize after hearing about the competition on children’s television. The Wolfson prize is a kind of Nobel Prize for economics, explains AD.
In his solution, the Greeks all hand in their money to the banks. The government then pays back all its debts by distributing pieces of pizza or pancake to its creditors and leaves the eurozone, reintroducing the drachma. Anyone who hides their euros is fined. Once the debts have been paid the country can return to the eurozone.
DeTelegraaf points out that Lord Wolfson is a eurosceptic – so it is not so surprising that he was charmed by the idea. Unfortunately little Jurre was not shortlisted for the main prize, but he did win 100 euros and an honorary mention.
Queen Beatrix busy with “core business”
Queen Beatrix appears to have a busy schedule looking through today’s papers - practising what her late husband Prince Claus once referred to as her “core business” - cutting ribbons.
While in the southern city of Venlo the final touches are being made at the Floriade international horticultural show, the new EYE Film Institute in Amsterdam is readying itself for a royal visit. Trouw reports that the Dutch monarch will be opening both today. Meanwhile AD pictures the Queen coming out of a pub! No she didn’t go for a pint, she was opening a new section of the 100-year-old Open Air Museum in Arnhem.