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Category Archives: News

Obama: Truly Gezellig in The Hague

Nuclear Security Summit I56A1197

Truly Gezellig in The Hague

I’ve seen some of the Nuclear Security Summit 2014 here in The Hague and took a bit of video and some photo’s at the final press conference where Obama thanked the Dutch for a well organized summit and showed he knows a Dutch word “Gezellig” that many English speaking people claim is not so easy to translate….My idea is that the following English words give some meaning to gezellig: Cozy, snug and intimate cover it more or less.

After the press conference the president was induced to being photographed in front of the Victory Boogie Woogie, the latest and unfinished painting of Piet Mondrian, who died in New York before he could finish this painting. This painting is in the collection of the The Hague Municipal Museum of Modern Art (Gemeentemuseum).

Obama bij de Victory Boogie Woogie

No Beard? No King! – Dutch getting Viral about King to be Willem-Alexander

King to be Willem-Alexander and Abdicating Queen Beatrix

Currently H.R.H Prince Willem Alexander of The Netherlands (left) is clean shaven. He will be the first King in over 100 years after his mother H.M. Queen Beatrix (right) will abdicate in favor of him on April 30, 2013. However according to a funny FacBook page Zonder Baard Geen Koning (i.e. No Beard? No King!) which started yesterday and collected some 20,000 likes in its first 24 hours, Willem-Alexander has still 90 days to grow a nice beard.

Steve Jobs’ Super Yacht Venus unveiled in Aalsmeer – Dutch Design (63)


On October 27, 2012, one year after I shared the speculations about Steve Job’s unfinished super yacht,  his Super Yacht Venus has been unveiled in Aalsmeer, the Netherlands ( a stone’s throw from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport) at the Dutch Royal Feadship De Vries yard.

Imacs steer Steve Jobs Venus

Reportedly the yacht is operated via 7 Imacs. Very daring, I would say, to trust the software so much to have it reign a super yacht. Although I know Oracle’s Larry Ellison reportedly developed his own software to do same with some of his super yachts.

Source and photo’s: The Dutch language blog One More Thing

Prinsjesdag – Budget Day in The Netherlands

Traditionally on the third Tuesday of September our Queen makes a tour through The Hague in her Golden Carriage. Before the two houses of Dutch Parliament, the Second Chamber or House of Representatives (150 representatives) and the Senate or First Chamber (75 senators), in a Joint Meeting, she voices the Speech of The Throne, highlighting the plans of Dutch Government for the coming Parliamentary Year and declares the new Parliamentary Year open. The Dutch Minister of Finance then presents the Budget for the next year. One could compare it with the State of The Union Address in the US or the Speech from The Throne in the UK.

This year the whole ceremony is a bit weird, because we’ve just had General Elections and tomorrow will see a completely different Second Chamber then today. Also the budget has been prepared by a government that is demissionary which means it operates but has resigned. The newly elected Parliament will (hopefully in a short time) form a new Government. Politically sensitive subjects are not handled by a demissionary Government.

The Dutch name for the day is “Prinsjesdag” or Day of the princes, as it is customary the childs of the king (or queen) sit in on the ceremony next to the Queen. In recent years only Crown Prince Willem Alexander sits in.

Here you see the Golden Carriage leaving the Ridderzaal at the “Binnenhof” were Our houses of Parliament have their seat. Photo via Wikimedia by Dutch Ministry of Defense (R J Essink).

The End of the Wilders Era?

Rutte and Verhagens with Wilders Hairdo

The End of the Wilders Era?

As you may know, my hometown The Hague is the center of Dutch Government.

Today Geert Wilders left the coalition talks that lasted already 7 weeks and were aimed to create an acceptable package of cutting expenditure by Dutch Government.

Wilders stated he withdrew his support for the minority Government led by Mark Rutte.

Less than two years, on another platform I presented Rutte (left on the photo) and Maxime Verhagen (right on the photo) as our new Prime Minister and Vice Prime Minister when they started this adventure. Both with the typical Geert Wilders hairdo. An apt and fabulous caricature I found on FB then.

New General Elections expected in September/Ocober 2012

It is expected that new General Elections will be held in September Oktober 2012. Until then Rutte and Verhagen will remain in office and have a difficult task of getting the 2013 budget accepted by a Parliament that is divided an has too many small political parties.

Again Rutte may need his life vest to keep the Dutch Ship of State afloat.

My expectations

I expect Rutte’s VVD (Liberal) party to win the elections, but how the landscape will look after the elections is very unsure. Verhagen’s CDA (Christen Democratic) party most certainly will lose. I do hope Wilders PVV party will lose according to a very old Dutch political wisdom: “He who breaks a Coalition Government, will suffer in the elections” . The darkest horse is the conglomerate of left wing (various Social Democrats and Labour) parties. I believe it is likely a new government will consist of Liberals and some left wing parties.