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Sommer, Martin

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5 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

De Volkskrant - Netherlands | 11/06/2015

Amsterdam's underworld increasingly brutal

A man from the criminal milieu was killed not far from a school by unidentified assailants on Tuesday morning in Zaandam near Amsterdam. The killers used automatic weapons. The centre-left daily De Volkskrant voices concern about the recent wave of revenge crimes in the gang world: "This is now the sixth settling of accounts in and around Amsterdam. The killings are becoming increasingly brutal, carried out shamelessly in public by ever younger killers who murder for a few cents. ... Nowadays people like to talk about the crime paradox. A crime like this shocks the public, yet objectively the number of such incidents has decreased. ... Perhaps that's because crime and violence are less accepted nowadays, and the standard for peaceful behaviour is higher than ever. So it's all the more understandable for such abominable killings to provoke a general sense of social destruction and disintegration."

De Volkskrant - Netherlands | 11/03/2015

PM also discredited after drug boss scandal

Following the resignation of Dutch Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten over a controversial deal between the public prosecutor's office and a drug boss, the opposition in the Netherlands has accused Prime Minister Mark Rutte of weak leadership in the affair. The political fallout is considerable, the left-liberal daily De Volkskrant observes: "The reputation of the Ministry for Security and Justice has suffered most. The affair is symptomatic of a bureaucracy often marked by a considerable lack of transparency. ... It was also a terrible day for Prime Minister Mark Rutte. ... He is a philanthropist and that does him credit, but it's not very helpful in politics. He is loyal and stands by his friends in good times and in bad. ... But now he must say goodbye to his justice minister Opstelten at an extremely inopportune time, just before the elections in the provinces. That's a big stain on his record."

De Volkskrant - Netherlands | 23/05/2014

Europe divides the Netherlands

Geert Wilders' Eurosceptic and right-wing populist PVV party suffered a surprising loss of votes in the Netherlands on Thursday. After topping the polls on the European elections for months it only secured 12.2 percent of the vote according to exit polls on the first day of the elections. Meanwhile the pro-European and left-liberal D66 took the lead with 15.6 percent. But this isn't the end of the story yet, the left-liberal daily De Volkskrant fears: "Europe remains a difficult topic that divides the people. Not even half of the citizens are convinced that the Netherlands benefits from EU membership. ... As far as voting behaviour is concerned a new gap has opened up between the highly educated and the poorly educated, between those with high and those with low incomes. ... For the voters of D66, Europe represents a major opportunity. On the other side are the voters of the [Eurosceptic and socialist] SP and PVV. ... For them, far from being an opportunity Europe is a threat."

De Volkskrant - Netherlands | 17/01/2014

Netherlands neglects its peripheral regions

The northern Dutch province of Groningen is on a collision course with the government in The Hague. It is demanding compensation for the numerous earthquakes caused by gas production in the area. The left-liberal daily De Volkskrant points out that there are also other reasons for the anger: "Mineral resources belong to the realm, in other words the community. People have the impression that that the Netherlands is raking in hundreds of billions of euros from natural gas while the inhabitants of Groningen are left empty-handed. ... Groningen also feels generally neglected in comparison to the west of the country. In addition to the anger over the earthquakes there's the unemployment, which is higher than in the western conurbation of Randstad. The protests are understandable, and not just the problem of the people of Groningen. In recent decades the gap between the rich Randstad and the rest of the country has grown substantially. Fixing the social welfare system in the poorer periphery has more drastic consequences than in Randstad."

De Volkskrant - Netherlands | 20/06/2008

Women harmful to the status of a profession

For the first time in history there are four women party leaders in the Dutch parliament. The Dutch daily De Volkskrant writes that the advance of women in professional life results in a loss of status and lower payment: "This pattern repeats itself. There is an increasing number of female teachers, and the teaching profession has sunk from being an almost distinguished employment to one that is pitiable - and above all poorly paid. ... Women are taking over in editorial departments, so now we're back to where we were 50 years ago on the status ladder. ... The same will happen in politics. It is well known that politicians have as bad a reputation as journalists nowadays. Men are turning to trade and industry and taking jobs as TV presenters for a couple of hundred thousand euros, or having heart attacks. ... When a profession loses its status, men start looking for something better."

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