Childcare Knofje in The Hague.Figurine Linelle Deunk

    Childcare is facing major shortages. I have a tip for them, also take a look at status holders. I am guiding a Syrian woman who has passed all her Dutch exams, has an approved diploma for childcare and primary school and has three years of experience in Syria. We wrote application letters together for jobs in nurseries and playgroups. Usually without any response, let alone an invitation for an interview.

    After a year full of disappointments, one school dared to do it: she has now found an unpaid internship and if all goes well, she can come and work there. With some extra guidance, part of the staff shortage could be solved in no time.
    Olga NielsenHengelo (Ov.)


    After reading yet another Wagner Group crime, I wonder how long it will be before the civilized world decides to list the Wagner Group as a terrorist organization and designate Yevgeny Prigozhin, and possibly others such as clients as its leader.

    Wherever this group is deployed, the population has to deal with atrocities. Even our own recruited soldiers are not safe from the terror of colleagues and superiors.

    There are parties in this world that have been placed on the list of terrorist organizations for less. What are you waiting for?
    Harry van KesterenHarlem


    It would indeed be good if the number of foreign students were reduced, also to ease the pressure on the housing market.

    But as long as expats in the Netherlands do not have to pay tax on 30 percent of their income for five years, and thus have even more of their already considerable salary left over to rent or buy a home here, you may wonder whether the inner-city housing market is not already lost for the average Dutch person.
    Arjan HackAmsterdam

    DNA database

    Ludo Grégoire argues for a general DNA database. The data contained therein may then only be used to solve (serious) crimes. The reader is, of all things, a lawyer, he should know better. We do know how reliable the government is by now, don’t we?

    In no time the database turns out to be as leaky as a basket and various authorities have access, not to mention the hunger for this data from insurers. I understand the wish, but this is a naive proposition.
    Patrick Jacobslawyer, Langbroek


    I feel akin to Sander Donkers, who feels like a snob in his column when he (rightly) remarks that the spelling on a menu is incorrect. Only ‘we’ are no longer snobs but don quixotes, who fight against windmills. Let all those who are annoyed by this meet each other and while enjoying a cappuccino, muse about ‘the good old days’ when annoying spelling errors were the news of the day.
    Corinne NelemanBreda

    Food aid

    Can someone explain to me what is meant by ‘The problem of food aid is too big for the government alone’ and why the editors choose that sentence as the headline? And can the cabinet explain why it is not its responsibility if the Red Cross has to provide food aid in our prosperous country?

    Twenty years of neoliberalism’s priorities could not be more clearly depicted. I am ashamed of our country where we see Doctors Without Borders and Red Cross in action today. As if you are going to take soup to a millionaire who has his money tied up and has no liquid assets left.
    Yolanda van der LeeGroningen


    Are there people who remove photos of their cigar-smoking (grand)father from their photo albums because they no longer fit the current zeitgeist?
    Jan-Willem KoolenNijmegen

    Cheerful cancer patient

    Fortunately, people differ greatly. The differences between me and Eelco Meuleman are big. Our agreement is that we both have cancer and that diagnosis will most likely mean our death sentence. That cancer seems to have opened the door to a happy life for him. I’ve been a happy person all my life and I’m trying to stay that way. Eelco Meuleman’s statements don’t help me with that, I’m regularly really in sackcloth and ashes. I cherish our differences.
    Ap HilhorstLeuth

    First class

    Maarten Lemmens argues for the abolition of first class in NS trains, arguing that people with a disability sometimes have to avoid the train because of the crowds. Sounds likeable, but I suspect it’s an occasional argument and rather a plea for making first class seats accessible to all travelers.

    Outside rush hours, mainly elderly people and people with a disability travel in first class. In order to be assured of a seat, people are willing to pay the higher fare for this. The abolition of first class will lead to fewer seats for these people, so that they will avoid the train.

    The time when young people give up their seat to an elderly person or someone with a disability is long gone. The telephone is used as a handy tool; the screen is stared stoically so that the needy fellow man does not have to be noticed.

    I agree with Lemmens that the trains, especially during rush hour, are overcrowded and the NS must come up with solutions quickly. However, abolishing the first class is not.
    Will Spanjer, Heemskerk

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