News from Amsterdam

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11/1 Jurists want to stay in Oudemanhuispoort

8/2 Mayor’s portrait

8/2 Websites for social cohesion

7/2 Spreading tourism proceeds with difficulty

7/2 GroenLinks on districts: Be a man

6/2 Zuideramstel opens new office on Sabbath

5/2 The truth about integration

4/2 Wilders has little support on Amsterdam

3/2 Elite involved in neighbourhood

2/2 Johnnie Walker avoids taxes in Amsterdam

1/2 Rotterdam to tinker with district councils as well

31/1 Wooden rowing boats to disappear from Amstel

31/1 ZeeburgTV launched

27/1 Privacy activists to mess up loyalty card system

27/1 A few were still coughing, but that was an act

27/1 Chrisis in de Baarsjes

26/1 Youth have positive view of districts

24/1 Action groups call for Carmel and Jaffa boycott

24/1 PvdA members dismiss plan for districts

23/1 KLM takes on crisis with new uniform

23/1 District office not squatted

21/1 Merge districts

20/1 Closing squat bar Vrankrijk not necessary

20/1 Cleaners welcome new Schiphol director

18/1 Palestine at the Jewish Historical Museum

18/1 What is the right size for a district?

17/1 PvdA Oost against fewer districts

16/1 Committee: 7 districts by 2010

15/1 Soldiers may attend Afghanistan debate after all

15/1 Bait bike leads to arrest

14/1 Youth for Christ to republish vacancies

13/1 Paintings of the Zuidas

13/1 New Youth for Christ contoversy

11/1 Social cohesion initiative raises eyebrows

10/1 Fewer districts in 2010

10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

9/1 Fun on the ice - but not for all

9/1 Supermarket coupon fraud thwarted

9/1 I Amsterdam must remain exclusive

8/1 Use term Apartheid in every discussion

8/1 No city kiosk in Amsterdam yet

7/1 Snow

7/1 Fatima Elatik to run Zeeburg

7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


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Amsterdam and the crisis

15 October 2008 - How will the financial crisis affect the Amsterdam economy and how should the municipality respond? News from Amsterdam asked a number of experts for their views on the Zuidas, financial niche markets and related issues.

* Douglas van den Berghe: Crisis may benefit Amsterdam
* Saskia Sassen: This is not the first collapse
* Erik Swyngedouw: Where is the environmental movement?

* Ewald Engelen: Amsterdam should get its hands dirty
* Robert Kloosterman: The P.C. Hooft will be quieter

As a result of the credit crunch, the London financial sector stands to lose 62,000 out of 353,000 jobs over the next two years, the Centre for Economic and Business Research predicted earlier this week. As there will be little demand for new financial products in the future, chances for a strong bounce-back in 2010 are slim.

Fear is everywhere, columnist City Girl of the London News commented. "You can smell fear on the Canary Wharf escalators; see it in colleagues' eyes; hear it in the voice of someone who knows he is about to be laid off".

The outlook for Amsterdam is not nearly as grim. Still, Alderman Lodewijk Asscher (Economic Affairs) has warned that the financial sector makes up 15% of the Amsterdam economy, which will inevitably be hit by the crisis. In addition, thousands of jobs were already at stake at ABN Amro.

Asscher is optimistic about the future of the financial sector in Amsterdam. He hopes for growth in niche markets such as money transfer, pension funds and sustainable banking.

Earlier this year, these sectors have been identified as focus areas by the Holland Financial Centre, a lobby group consisting of banks, consultancy firms, governments and other institutions. The Centre also saw opportunities in listings for private equity firms, hedge funds and biotechnology firms.

Given his limited powers, there is little Asscher himself can do to promote economic development. He has indicated that he will ask the national government for tax cuts for pension funds, for companies involved in money transfer and for high-educated expats.

A controversial issue is the Zuidas business district. Government and financial institutions were to invest two billion euro to move transport infrastructure underground and thus create more space for offices and houses.

However, financial institutions are now hesitant to invest. In addition, more and more critics are asking whether Amsterdam really needs an expensive office location.

COMMENT - What about electing the mayor of Amsterdam? Time to dump the metro and put the money into the real Amsterdam economy. Amsterdam's financial sector WILL crash. Amsterdam's tourist sector is already crashing. Amsterdam's building sector will hurt. Housing prices will fall. A democratically elected mayor will build for the future. (help4mac)


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