May 7, 2015

Emigrating down the street to Germany

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 10:53 am

Kerkrade

As people are moving from Kerkrade, Limburg to the connecting city of Herzogenrath, Germany due to cheaper house prices, Kerkarde discusses how it could ever become a true European cross-border city with a mix of Dutch and German rules and regulations. It’s one thing to regroup a bunch of Dutch cities into a collaboration like Parkstad Limburg, which includes Kerkrade, it’s another to run a city within two countries that have their own laws, language and culture.

In 2012 two-third of emigrants in Herzogenrath came from Kerkrade, sometimes even on the same street: Nieuwstraat in Kerkarde, Neustrasse in Herzogenrath. And if you move down the street to another country, you’re still an emigrant. Even your mobile phone provider doesn’t know where you are half the time, and I’m often told that the border people speak dialect on both sides and understand each other perfectly.

The mayor of Kerkrade Jos Som has to deal with the differences in legislation every day: “Sometimes we use Dutch law, sometimes German law, and sometimes no law at all”. He explains that it can be rewarding or frustrating because after all it’s Europe and we still have to do things together.

For true border complications there’s always Baarle-Nassau, with its collection of Belgian enclaves that put Google Streetview to the test.

(Link: www.binnenlandsbestuur.nl, Photo of Kerkrade by FaceMePLS, some rights reserved)

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January 16, 2012

Eleven-year-old Tijmen from Gelderland gets satellite named after him

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 2:32 pm

The European Union is working together with the European Space Agency to launch it’s own global positioning system called Galileo. In total 18 satellites will be launched, and they will named after children from the member states who won a drawing competition.

According to Eindhoven’s Dagblad, the lucky Dutch kid who will see his name immortalized is the 11-year-old Tijmen van der Kraaij from the village of Winssen in Gelderland, just West of Nijmegen. He won his prize with a drawing of the fair space ship TMN4VK (shown above) which seems like a cross between the Space Shuttle, the Soyuz and the rocket from Tintin—surely the best of three worlds.

(more…)

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May 24, 2008

National Song Festival 1975

Filed under: Music by Branko Collin @ 7:38 pm

Tonight is the latest episode of the world’s biggest schmalz fest, the Eurovision Song Contest, and for another year the Netherlands are not participating due to lack of quality. In fact, the last time we won was in 1975 with Teach In’s Ding-a-dong.

The song was performed in Stockholm in English, but during the national competition it was sung in this Dutch version. The national competition was set up so that three competitors all had to sing each other’s songs. As a result, there are also recordings by Albert West and Debbie. Which one do you like best?

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February 8, 2008

Netherlands strongest European economy

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 2:04 pm

According to z24 (Dutch), the Netherlands is in second place on the so-called Misery Index, right after Japan. The index adds unemployment rate to inflation rate, and a high position (low value) indicates a healthy economy.

  1. Japan: 4,5
  2. Netherlands: 4,9
  3. Norway: 5,3
  4. Denmark: 5,5
  5. Switzerland: 5,6
  6. South Korea: 6,8
  7. Great-Britain: 7,3
  8. Australia: 7,5
  9. Austria: 7,9
  10. Luxemburg: 8,2

You could probably come up with all sorts of reservations against such an index. For starters, unemployment rates are notoriously unreliable, as they tend to be closer related to propaganda than to statistics. But even a Netherlands that is merely highish in the index might be still be doing well because of it. Z24 writer Mathijs Bouman points out that consumer confidence in the Netherlands took a dive the past half year from 15% to -2%. The factors that have a healing influence on lowered consumer confidence? Low unemployment and inflation rates.

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