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YEARS IN BUSINESS
Kiescollege Festival op 28 mei: wereldwijd debat over digitaal stemmen vanuit het buitenland
(... en een update over dubbele nationaliteit!)
Op zondag 28 mei opent de SNBN de discussie over veilig digitaal stemmen. We presenteren met trots de allereerste editie van het Kiescollege Festival! Met nieuwgekozen Kiescollege-leden, Tweede Kamerleden, de bekende stand-up comedian Greg Shapiro en experts uit binnen- en buitenland.
Ook zal er een update over de dubbele nationaliteit worden gegeven door advocaat Hermie de Voer van Everaert Advocaten. Dit unieke hybride evenement wordt live uitgezonden vanuit Den Haag en is wereldwijd te volgen via Zoom.
Het centrale thema van het festival is ‘Veilig digitaal stemmen vanuit het buitenland’. Laat je informeren en inspireren door een boeiend debat met Tweede Kamerleden, interessante presentaties uit Estland waar men al jaren digitaal stemt, en de waardevolle inzichten van Prof. Jacobs over hacker-proof stemmen.
We trakteren je ook op een spetterend optreden van de bekende Amerikaanse stand-up comedian Greg Shapiro.
Dutch shop in WA for sale
Owner Jeff van Altena started the shop 18 years ago and built it up to a flourishing business. He loves his shop and has mixed emotions about selling it. But, as he says, after 18 years it is time for a change for him. Twenty years ago, he left Sydney for Perth because he felt that Sydney was too crowded, and he saw a better future in WA. But once in Perth, he realised that a Dutch shop was missing and decided to start his own. Initially, he opened a small shop in Bassendean, to test the market. The shop ran very well, so he decided to expand into the space in Guildford. It is situated in a small shopping strip, containing seven shops, including a post office.
Jeff chose Guildford because it is near some main highways, close to the airport, the Swan Valley, and trains. It also has an attractive historical center, some antique shops, and a cafe strip.
Jeff sources products from both interstate and other local importers. They are typical Dutch products like appelstroop, kaas, hagelslag, stroopwafels, atjar, chocomel, Dutch and Indonesian spices, speculaas, croquettes, bitterballen and 40 kinds of licorice (drop). He also carries baking ingredients, like Koopmans flour, souvenirs, klompen (clogs), Delfts Blauw (china), teatowels, mattekloppers, dishwash brushes, and much more.
The inventory is 90% Dutch products and 10% German or Australian products. The shop has a “gezellige” atmosphere (Dutch cozy), they play Dutch music and TV in the background, and customer contact is very important. There is a good mail order system in place, by either phone or email, and there is plenty of parking in front. The private landlords are fair to deal with.Jeff is prepared to assist the new owners with everything.
Jeff is very grateful to all of his customers, past and present, and hopes that they will continue to support the Dutch Shop Perth, regardless of ownership.
Not enough housing is being built with the needs of ‘downsizing’ older people in mind, says the NVM estate agents association. A study of 140,000 house moves by its statistical arm Brainbay found that older people from 60 to 75 tend to move to a home that is €65,000 cheaper, cashing in some of the value for their old age. A fifth also relocated to more than 50 km away, possibly to return to their home region or be nearer family. But estate agent members surveyed by the NVM said there was not enough suitable new-build housing for the older generation and an ageing population. Councils such as Amsterdam have been writing to older people pointing out that they may have spare rooms and might like to relocate to more ‘suitable’ homes. This ‘moving on’ would, policy makers believe, make space for younger families. Rieks van den Berk, head of the housing group for the NVM and an estate agent, said it was useful to have insights into the behaviour of older people. ‘We are concerned about the limited attention for this target group in the development of new build,’ he said in a press release. ‘Seniors value self-determination and independence and want a comfortable, age-appropriate home that offers this. We are calling for an increase in provision, so that more people move on and the whole market loosens up. A senior moving frees up a home where a young family can live, and this family frees up a home that becomes available for first-time buyers.’
The cabinet plans to change the rules covering healthcare own risk (eigen risico) payments so that people do not have to contribute more than €150 at a time towards their treatment. Currently the over-18s have to pay €385 towards their medical bills a year, with the exception of visits to a GP and some treatments for people with chronic illnesses. And most people who have an operation or more complex treatment will spend the full amount in one go. Now the cabinet plans to chop the payment into bits which means if you have just one treatment in a year, you will be better off because you will only have to pay €150 yourself rather than the full €385. The government hopes that the thought of paying a further €150 for more treatment later in the year may encourage people to think twice about the need and either delay or decide against the procedure altogether. The Dutch patients’ association said in a reaction that the move, agreed in Friday’s cabinet meeting, raises many questions, particularly about the impact on people who voluntarily opt for a higher own risk element in return for lower premiums. Ministers expect that around one million people will contribute an average of €100 less towards their own risk payment, which in turn will lead to a reduction in healthcare premiums because fewer costs have to be declared. In total, they expect the measure will generate €200 million in savings. Health minister Ernst Kuipers is expected to publish more details about the changes shortly. As yet, it is unclear when the new rules will come into effect.
BudgetEnergie has become the first gas and electricity provider to cut its rates below the government’s price cap. From March customers will pay €1.39 per cubic metre of gas and 39 cents per KwH of electricity, a fraction below the ceiling of €1.40 and 40 cents respectively. The move will mainly benefit people who use more than 1,200 m3 of gas and 2,900 units of electricity in a year, as the price cap only covers usage up to these limits. Householders have to pay the full rate for any extra energy they use.
Export of Dutch music
Dutch music industry exports doubled last year after two years of coronavirus to reach €171 million, according to figures from music rights organisation BumaStemra, quoted by NOS and Nu.nl. Most of the money was earned from performances abroad by musicians based in the Netherlands, which generated €125 million. Nevertheless, the figures are still well below the €214 million earned by the Dutch music industry abroad in 2019, as coronavirus continued to impact on live shows in Asia. Dutch dance music accounted for 87% of the money earned abroad from performances, led by Martin Garrix with 104 shows, Tiësto with 102 and Joris Voorn with 90, Nu.nl reported.
Flights to European destinations such as Barcelona and Athens (from the Netherlands) are set to be around €50 more expensive this year because of tax rises and EU curbs on emissions. The Dutch airport departure tax went up from €8 to €26 on January 1, while the European Union is ending concessions to the aviation industry, such as the tax-free status of kerosine, as it seeks to cut carbon dioxide emissions by at least 55% before 2030. A study by ABN Amro bank found that the combined effect of the new rules would add €45 to the cost of a return flight to Nice, €47 to a trip to Barcelona and €56 to a round-trip to Athens. ‘The age of cheap flights is over,’ Stef Driessen, leisure and travel expert at ABN told FD.nl, adding that it made other forms of transport more viable. ‘It means there will be a level playing field when it comes to travelling by plane, train, car or bus.’ Frank Oostdam, director of the travel trade association ANVR, also said increasing the cost of flying would make travelling fairer and more sustainable. ‘I think all social costs, such as the cost to the environment, should be included in the price of a product. That goes for airline tickets as well.’ Tour operator TUI criticised the measures, arguing that the extra costs were not directly funding cleaner air travel, but said there was no indication that it was putting people off flying. ‘Holidays in Europe have already become pretty expensive, but at the same time we are still seeing huge demand for summer holidays in 2023,’ said director Arjen Kers. ‘People don’t want to give up their holidays.
Fans of the Lowlands pop festival and other big events will have to dig even deeper to pay for tickets, but organisers say price rises can’t be helped, broadcaster NOS reports. The three-day Lowland festival, which takes place in Biddinghuizen in August, will cost €300 this year, compared to the already hefty entrance fee of €255 last year. Events organiser Mojo spokesman Bente Bollmand admitted the rise was ‘steep’ but pointed to rising energy costs and inflation as reasons for the hike. Tents and portable loos are in greater demand because they are needed for refugee housing and are also more expensive to rent, he said. At the same time, artists’ fees have also gone up. Bollmann said the hike may exclude people who don’t have much money, such as students. ‘It’s a real worry,’ Bollmann said, ‘but at the same time people expect quality and a big name like Billie Eilish, for instance, would be typical Lowlands’. Lowlands is not the only festival with high ticket prices. The North Sea Jazz festival will cost jazz lovers €300 for a weekend, up €50 on last year. Tickets for Pinkpop, Down the Rabbit Hole and Rock Werchter in Belgium have also gone up considerably. On social media some festival goers said they would ‘pass this year’ or would have to ‘stop eating for a couple of months to go to Lowlands’.
Born in Sydney, played for Oranje
‘I was always interested in the Australian players who came to Europe when I was playing,’ Graeme Rutjes, former Netherlands International, tells me. We’re chatting via What’s App, Graeme at the golf course he manages near Utrecht, me at home in Hobart.
What makes Graeme unique amongst Oranje players is that he was born in Australia, the son of Dutch emigrants. ‘When you’re Dutch and playing football professionally but born in Australia, that’s something special. It was written about when I started, and when I made the Dutch team. Born in Sydney but Dutch.’
Graeme’s parents arrived in Australia in 1956, newly married and looking to start a new life. Graeme was born in 1960. The Rutjes were settled near Centennial Park, his mum raising two boys, his dad working for Hunter Douglas, the Dutch window and blinds manufacturer, when Graeme’s Opa in Holland died suddenly. In the winter of 1963, the family returned to Holland to support his widowed Oma. ‘I was born there but I can’t remember anything of my first three years.’
Graeme grew up in Rotterdam and followed Feyenoord, one of Holland’s biggest clubs. He started playing when he was ten and a couple of years later, he and team-mates went to Feyenoord to try out with their youth team. They were turned away. The Dutch system didn’t allow for kids to simply roll up, wanting a game - they had to be invited to trial by a club. ‘Most players are selected by the clubs when they are eleven or twelve or thirteen, and then by the time they are eighteen or nineteen, they’re in the First team. I started when I was nineteen, going to Excelsior - I did it by myself.’
Excelsior is the minnow of Rotterdam’s three senior football clubs. Graeme had begun studying economics at Erasmus University; Excelsior’s grounds were next door, so he approached the club to trial with them. The trainer of the Seconds, Rob Jacobs, let him train with his team, liked what he saw and invited him back. Graeme spent a year with the Seconds before debuting with the senior side in 1980; he stayed five years, amassing 149 games, and settling into the role of defender. He also continued with his studies, lugging textbooks to training camps and onto the buses carrying the team to and from matches. ‘In those days players liked to play cards and games on the buses. I had my study books with me.’
Graeme transferred to KV Mechelen in the Belgium League in 1985, staying with the club five years - and 153 games - through its greatest era, including a European trophy and a domestic cup and title. Six years - and another 152 games - at RSC Anderlecht, one of Belgium’s most successful clubs, followed.
Australian players first appeared in Continental Europe around this time, catching Graeme’s attention, especially those playing in Holland and Belgium. Striker Eddie Krncevic, starring with Anderlecht while Graeme was at KV Mechelen, made a particular impression. ‘I really liked playing against him. Always a hard fight, clear duels. He was a tall, slim guy and he could jump very high. Like an Aussie rules player. He knew how to jump and stay in the air; he was always hard to fight against. And when it was over, all the elbows, and we’d kicked each other, it was done and over with,’ Graeme laughs. ‘He was fun to play against.’
‘Graeme’s one of the best defenders I ever played against,’ Eddie tells me later. ‘I couldn’t score on him. I finally broke my duck in a Belgian Cup match at home. The return game at Mechelen I didn’t touch the ball, he had me in his back pocket.’ 
Graeme also played against Graham Arnold. ‘Another tough player - wasn’t mean, hard to fight against. Same as Eddie, the duels were tough, but afterwards, always fine.’ Frank Farina was a star in Belgium in this period. ‘He was a good striker, smart, quick for the first few metres, hard to play against…and a nice guy.’ Paul Okon was a teammate of Farina’s though his defensive role meant he and Graeme rarely clashed. Aurelio Vidmar topped Belgium’s goalscoring while at Standard Liege in 1994-95. ‘He was smart, not sneaky, he had a nose for the goal.’ Such a nose that Graeme recalls hitting him hard early in an important end-of-season match when he was at Anderlecht. Anderlecht went on to win the game.
Eddie knew of Graeme’s Australian background, at one stage urging Socceroo coach, Frank Arok, to cap him. But no one ever approached Graeme to play for Australia. ‘I might have switched if I hadn’t made it into the Dutch National Team. But it never went that far.’
While at Excelsior Graeme had played for the Dutch ‘B’ team; in top form at KV Mechelen, he was named in the initial squad for the 1988 Netherlands European Championship campaign though missed selection in the final squad that went on to win the country’s first major football competition. He finally made his senior Oranje debut in March 1989, a 2-0 victory over the Soviet Union.
That same year Graeme graduated from University with a Doctoraal, the Dutch equivalent of a Master’s Degree; avoiding the card games on the team bus had paid off. In a unique ceremony, he received his award from Thijs Libreghts, the Manager of the Netherlands team at the time. ‘It was special because normally professional football players in Holland don’t study.’
He played another twelve games for Oranje over the next two years, including in the disastrous Dutch Italia 90 World Cup campaign. With the core of the successful Euros side still playing, including such talents as Frank Rijkaard, Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten, the Koeman brothers, Gerald Vanenburg and Hans van Breukelen, Oranje was one of the favourites for the tournament, but the team, riven by big egos, dissention, and politics, fell apart. Scrapping through to the Round of 16 through three draws in the Group stage, the Dutch were then eliminated by eventual winners, West Germany. ‘We were never a team. In 1988 everybody wanted to fight for it, but in 1990 there was no cohesion, no glue. It was strange. The players were like little islands instead of a team,’ recalls Graeme.
Graeme made it to the Eredivisie the ‘long way’ and juggled studies with football for much of his career. He played his role in successful teams, played hundreds of senior club games, played for the Netherlands several times. He must have highlights?
‘Actually, making it as a professional footballer was the highlight.’ He expands. ‘I saw so many young players, eighteen or nineteen, when I started at Excelsior who I thought were better than me at the time. But they never made it. You need something special in your attitude to get to your goal of being a professional player. Yes, playing for my country was a highlight, winning a European title with Mechelen was a highlight, but if you look at it, the life of a professional footballer and getting paid to do what you love, then my whole career was a highlight.’ His answer makes perfect sense to me.
After finishing at Anderlecht, Graeme returned to the Netherlands, taking up a role owning and managing a golf course in Zeeland. Soccer has still drawn his interest at times - he joined Feyenoord in a business advisory role in 2011 and later became Technical Director at NAC Breda but gave it away to return to golf management and development.
With Graeme’s drive, I presume he must have a low golf handicap. He chuckles. ‘It’s terrible. I got stuck on nineteen. I still think I can play a single handicap. But when golf is your work, not even on your own course but any course, you look at the grass, the hospitality, the clubhouse, how the greenkeepers work, is it a two-tone mow or full mow, how the tees look, the feel of the course. It’s more work than relaxing.’ Ah, okay, so his focus is on the other aspects of golf rather than chasing that little white, dimpled ball around.
These days his involvement in soccer is limited to being on the KNVB disciplinary committee, a role that’s been simplified in recent years with the introduction of VAR and disciplinary issues largely being sorted out during matches.
Graeme’s interest in Australian soccer was piqued once more when Guus Hiddink arrived as coach of the Socceroos in 2005, and again when his former teammate in the Dutch National team, John van ‘t Schip was at the helm of Melbourne Heart and Melbourne City.
But his interest in the country extends beyond soccer - he has a genuine affection for the country of his birth. He’s been back twice with family on extended trips travelling across the country.
‘I really like Australia. I like the way of living - not laid back, but there’s a certain relaxed attitude around. I like the people, they’re normally optimistic and happy. Sydney would be a great place to live - I could have lived there.’ And if he had, who knows, perhaps he’d have taken his place alongside Krncevic, Arnold, Farina, Okon, Vidmar and co., playing for the Socceroos…
RSC Anderlecht has a short highlights video of Graeme Rutjes, available here: https://www.rsca.be/en/media/video/best-graeme-rutjes
 Interviews with Graeme Rutjes, 21 October, 10 November 2021.
 Feyenoord play in the south of Rotterdam and are one of the Netherlands ‘Big Three’ clubs, along with Ajax and PSV Eindhoven. Excelsior play to the east of the city. The third club is Sparta Rotterdam, based in the west of the city.
 Interview with Eddie Krncevic, 6 Dec. 2021. Born in Geelong, Eddie was an Australian soccer pioneer, one of the first Australian players to make their way to, and succeed in, Europe. His Belgium career spanned more than ten seasons and included titles with Cercle Brugge and Anderlecht; in 1988-89 he took out the leading goal scorer award while at Anderlecht. He’d played Australian Rules at high school in Melbourne, at one point even being offered a trial at Essendon after kicking seven goals in a schoolboy’s match. He told me he credits Aussie Rules with helping his aerial game, as he knew how to use other players for gaining leverage and height.
 Graham Arnold had stints in Holland (with Roda JC and NAC Breda) and Belgium (Standard Liege and Charleroi) over eight seasons from 1989. Frank Farina won a Belgium Championship with Club Brugge, the same year he was awarded the League’s Best Foreign Player (1989-90). Paul Okon had an outstanding five years in Belgium also playing for Club Brugge, winning two Belgium titles, and taking out the League’s Best Player award in 1995-96. Aurelio Vidmar won the top goal scorers award while at Standard Liege in 1994-95. John Aloisi was also at Standard Liege, and later Antwerp in this period.
 For an account of the Dutch Italia 90 debacle, see Ch.18 of David Winner’s Brilliant Orange – the neurotic genius of Dutch football (2010).
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Wie heeft hem al gemaakt?!
'Bokkepootjestaart met advocaat en vanillepudding' op veler verzoek. Een heerlijk Limburgs recept voor bij de koffie, door het Recepten Uit Limburg team.
Klik hier voor het gehele recept en andere leuke blogs.