Amsterdam's ring road is the most dangerous Dutch place to drive

Stay in Rotterdam, Amsterdam mayor tells tourists

There were more than 900 accidents on Amsterdam's A10 ring road last year, making it the most dangerous motorway in the Netherlands, according to figures from traffic information service VID.In total, there were 29 accidents for every kilometre stretch of the road, which has an 80 kph speed limit in places. The VID blamed the volume of traffic plus the large number of slip roads for the high accident rate.The A13 between Rotterdam and The Hague and the A20 near Rotterdam are second and third on the VID list.Tow trucksA second analysis of traffic incidents carried out by the vehicle recovery service SIMN, said a bend in the A58 near Roosendaal is the country's most accident-prone stretch of road. There were 55 accidents there last year which required tow trucks.The A20 by the Kleinpolderplein is second on the SIMN's list followed by the junction between the A1 and the A6.  More >

Amsterdam mayor acts on tourism pressure

Stay in Rotterdam, Amsterdam mayor tells tourists Amsterdam is appealing to other Dutch cities to absorb some of the tourists who come to the Dutch capital, the Parool said on Wednesday.The city's marketing department has already made moves to encourage tourists to stay in Haarlem, Zandvoort and Muiden and is now focusing on Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, the paper said.'This will help reduce the pressure. It could be our salvation,' the city's mayor Eberhard van der Laan said in an interview. Many Amsterdammers, particularly those in the city centre, say there are now too many tourists and that shops focusing on souvenirs and fast food are becoming too dominant.IncreasesThis year, 17 million tourists are expected to come to Amsterdam, and the total is forecast to rise to 23 million by 2025. Van der Laan said it is the city's responsibility to help others to share in its success.If tourists do stay in other cities, they should be offered free public transport to Amsterdam, the mayor said.On Tuesday, the Parool reported that almost one in 13 properties in the city centre are rented out via Airbnb.  More >

Unilever cuts 240 jobs in the Netherlands

Stay in Rotterdam, Amsterdam mayor tells tourists Unilever is cutting 240 jobs in the Netherlands by shifting abroad some operations, particularly IT.Some 200 staff members will lose their jobs, as will 40 agency workers. The jobs, mainly in IT, finance and accounts, are being moved to Mexico, Bangalore, Manila and Katowice, website reports.The FNV trade union said Unilever was involved in the 'massive sale' of jobs to low-cost countries. Most of those affected are people in their 30s with young families, union spokeswoman Marjolein Dubbelaar said in a statement.DistanceIn addition, the move means IT and other support services will be a considerable distance from the company's Dutch operations. 'On paper, such a reorganisation looks efficient, but in practice it will cause additional problems,' the CNV union said.According to the Telegraaf, Unilever has pledged to try to find other jobs for the staff members affected. The aim of the move is to further centralise the company's activities, a spokesman told the paper.This policy resulted in 450 jobs being moved to the Netherlands in 2013, the company pointed out.Unilever has a worldwide workforce of some 175,000 people, of whom 3,200 are in the Netherlands.  More >

Pharrell grabs a piece of Dutch clothing

Rap mogul Pharrell grabs a piece of Dutch clothing label Pharrell Williams has long been associated with Dutch clothing brand G-Star Raw. That association has now gone one step further, as the rapper and producer announced via Twitter that he has become the company’s co-owner.‘I believe they will be the definitive jeans brand of the 21st century. I am looking forward to being part of that mission and to co-creating G-Star’s future,’ Williams said in a press release.The acquisition is the latest in a list of recent purchases by Williams, who just a few weeks ago bought back controlling interests in Billionaire Boys Club and ICECREAM, record labels he co-founded in 2005.Sustainable collaborationTwo years ago, Pharrell’s company, Bionic Yarn, partnered with G-Star to develop a new line of denim made from plastic recycled from the ocean.The clothing line, titled RAW for the Oceans, was a success at New York Fashion Week, and carries the tagline: ‘Turning the tide on ocean plastic pollution’.‘Through this collaboration with Pharrell we want continued innovation and Pharrell’s ability to push the boundaries even further in all aspects of our business,’ Thecla Schaeffer, CEO of G-Star told the Telegraaf.  More >

Squatting ban has had little impact

Five years on, ban on squatting has had little impact: NRC Just eight people were found guilty of squatting in Amsterdam between 2010 and 2014 even though police were involved in 631 evictions, according to an analysis of justice ministry figures by the NRC.In Rotterdam, 11 squatters were found guilty in court, in The Hague 20 and in Utrecht 54. In just one case, was a squatter given a short jail term, the NRC says.All forms of squatting were banned in the Netherlands in 2010 and squatters face a maximum of up to one year or more if violence is involved.OwnersThe legislation also gave local authorities extra powers to trace the owners of abandoned buildings and force them to take action. This too is proving ineffective and just five local authorities have taken advantage of the option, the paper says.In addition, the amount of non-residential property left empty has been steadily increasing.A spokesman for the justice ministry said the priority is to ensure squatted buildings are emptied and returned to their rightful owners. The legislation has had the correct impact and does not need tightening up, the spokesman said.TraditionSquatting has long been a part of the Dutch political scene and its idealistic roots lie in combatting property speculation and homelessness.Research by the VU University into the Amsterdam squatters movement in 2009 showed the city has between 200 and 300 squats and no more than 1,500 squatters. In the movement’s heyday in the 1980s, there were some 20,000 squatters in the capital.  More >