It’s only getting tougher to find a house to buy in The Netherlands. There’s a lack of affordable houses, often bought up at hundreds of thousands of euro above the asking price (according to Dutch news show Nieuwsuur on 31 May 2021), more often than not by investors who will subdivided the houses into small and make tons off renting them. By the way, this practice should be heavily restricted in 2022 if all goes as planned.
Nathalie, 40, lives alone with her daughter, a dog and a bunny in 46 square metres and pays €950 in rent before utilities. She pays more than most, and less than some. However, she is unable to put money aside to buy a house and cannot get social housing because her salary is often just above the limit. Many people are in similar situations.
Since she cannot find a house, she has decided to try her hand at crowdfunding to raise €1 million from 1 million people. “If everyone sends a euro, I’ll soon have my dream house.” Of course, social media has made mince meat of her cry for help, but I’ll give her points for trying and being honest about it. As I write this, she has raised €7.530, with about a year to go for the rest.
Back in 2005, Canadian blogger Kyle MacDonald bartered his way from a single red paperclip to a house in a series of fourteen online trades over the course of a year and everybody through he was brilliant, just saying.
Tikkie is a Dutch app to send payment requests to friends and family, and surely foes as well. The Dutch Skaters’ Union (KNSB) – and by skaters we mean ice skating for marathons in this case – has recently decided to use Tikkie to send payment request for fines to their members who don’t obey their rules such as wearing the right clothing or not signing up for an event on time.
However, marathon skater Lisanne Buurman thought fair is fair and decided to send the KNSB a Tikkie for an undisclosed amount of prize money she had been owed for over ten months. Apparently, the prize money should have been paid within two months. The KNSB has since recognised that they messed up and plan to pay up, and it’s the Tikkie that made them take notice.
The KNSB sends out first-time fines of 10 euro, with the second fine being 25 euro. Tikkie is very convenient: ordinary folks go our for dinner, everybody orders, one person pays, and then instead of spending 30 minutes figuring out the bill (I’ve done that enough times), one person sends out a bunch of Tikkies to the rest and you’re all sorted.
There is a limit of 750 euro for Tikkies, and for something like prize money, a few Tikkies might have to be sent. Going Dutch has never been easier.
An alumna of Utrecht University from Rotterdam has left 1.2 million euro to the university, making it the biggest amount ever bequeathed to it in Dutch history.
Annie van Leerzem studied medicine in the 1950s in Utrecht, as Rotterdam did not have a faculty of medicine back then. Although she graduated, she never practiced medicine, as the care of both her parents fell on her shoulders.
A fund has been set up in her name, the Familie van Leerzemfonds. The money will be used for young clinical researchers in general medicine.
Last weekend, a criminal in Rotterdam was leaving a flat with hundreds of thousands of euro in a bag and mistook a plain clothes policeman in a car for his partner in crime. Oops.
When he realised he had messed up, he ran, tossing the bag full of cash and throwing the key to the flat in a ditch. Both were retrieved by the cops, one easily and one with a bit of fishing.
The cops checked out the flat in question, which was like hitting the jackpot. It had even more money in it, hard drugs, guns, a sealer for drugs and all kinds of gear to build an illegal cannabis plantation. There was also a big safe that was hoisted out of the flat with a crane – who knows what kind of goodies were in there, I’m guessing falsified documents.
The plain clothes cop was staking out the area, having seen the driver waiting on his friend drive quite poorly on the way there. Then, the driver got out of his car to make way for the stash in the boot and that’s when the ‘bagman’ knocked on the wrong car window.
This reads like the third act of a stupid television show.
A supermarket in Tilburg, Noord-Brabant has ended up with fake 2 euro coins, according to the police. They are easy enough to spot: there’s no inscriptions or marks on the side of the coin when there should be, something most people don’t bother checking, but now you know.
Back in 2012 we told you about passing off Thai coins [baht] as euro coins, and when I clean out my junk drawer, I’m reminded of a few other odd coins from either Africa or South America I ended up with after a long night down the pub.
According to RTL Nieuws, dozens of criminals in the Netherlands with an outstanding prison sentence wrongly continue to receive benefits. Although the justice department and police cannot find them, the UWV (Employee Insurance Agency), responsible for handing out benefits, doesn’t seem to have any problem finding baddies at all, much to the irritation of the Dutch government trying to put the kibosh on this absurd practice since 2011.
It can takes month before benefits are stopped owing to bureaucracy, but what really grates is that as many as 13 judges have still ruled in favour of these criminals, citing that ‘not serving one’s sentence is not a good enough reason to stop benefits’. They first need to see if the person is ‘purposely avoiding incarceration’ and then more pressure is put on the police to catch this person.
There’s even a case where a man took off to Australia with permission from the UWV and in doing so avoided his sentence. His sentence was then set at 10 weeks. However, Australia won’t extradite a Dutch person for any sentence of less than six month, so the man can chill down under while receiving money from the Netherlands and not go to prison.
Every time you hear that the Dutch are soft on crime, well, yes they are.
Didi Taihuttu, a Dutch man, his wife and their three daughters who live in a chalet in Limburg and who have decided to live simpler lives, have sold all their major possessions to buy up Bitcoin.
The 38-year-old, an IT business owner who used to employ 16 people, claims “It’s the currency of the future”, but says if it all goes south, he’ll be ready to start over. Last week, Bitcoin apparently broke through the 5,000 USD for the first time since its launch, an increase of more than 400 percent just in 2017. However, if you read the link, you’ll see that opinions are still very divided on the topic.
Felix Mollinga, student at the Design Academy in Eindhoven, has won the James Dyson Award and 2,250 euro for his Acoin invention, a way to pay digitally and more anonymously using either virtual money from the bank or Bitcoin.
Acoin is a small black device of about 4.5 cm in diameter where virtual money can be stored. A small screen allows users to see how much money it has stored, money that can be transferred digitally to another Acoin, much like the contactless payments we have now for public transport. There’s also a finger sensor so that money isn’t transferred by mistake.
Mollinga explains that at some point all payments will be digital for many reasons, one of which being that it costs governments too much money to print money. This comes on the tail of my recent visit to Sweden where in June many coins have been rendered junk and an article explaining why the country is close to becoming a cashless society and why the future will be sans banknotes. The downside is, the more electronic payments we use, the less anonymous we become and possibly the value of bank notes and coins will be missed, says Mollinga.
Mollinga plans to take part in an international design competition with Acoin, the winners of which will be announced on 26 October. If he wins, he’ll go home with 35,000 euro, which he says he’ll put towards producing the Acoin.
Over the past few days, stuck among the daily river of memes, one stood out because friends were making a commitment: they were going to cancel their account with Dutch consumer bank ING over the bank’s investments in the controversial Dakota pipeline.
Frances Ro started talking to ING on their Facebook page and made a very simple demand: “Show me that you’re on the right side of history. Prove that you won’t let large interests stand in the way of a livable planet. Let’s say that we’ll find a solution before 1 January. If not, I’ll be your ex-customer from that day on.”
Ro’s problems with ING’s investment are that the Dakota pipeline allegedly endangers the drinking water of millions of people and destroys territory that is culturally significant to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. According to her, ING has invested 250 million USD in the project.
ING ummed and ahed in response, suggesting they were hoping the controversy would go away by itself: “We have confidence in the proper administration of justice and the careful consideration of the case by the US government.”
The bank seems to have found itself in a perfect storm. Together with ABN Amro and Rabobank it is one of the big three consumer banks in the Netherlands. Lately, savings banks like ASN and Triodos (who claim to only invest in sustainable projects) have branched out into the payment business and new banks like Knab (owned by insurer Aegon) have also been nipping at their feet. Consumers have stayed loyal so far to to the banks that lured them in during their childhood, until now they’ve found a reason to switch to more modern banks. The joint banks even have a service that should make switching banks as easy as possible.
So far Ro’s plea got shared well over a 1,000 times, with several people reporting they’ve already abandoned ING.