Dutch PM says he will 'build a fine relationship' with Trump

Dutch PM says he will ‘build a fine relationship’ with Trump

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte described his meeting with US president Donald Trump at Thursday’s Nato meeting in Brussels as ‘fine’, adding that he expects ‘to build up a fine relationship with him’. Trump had used his speech at the Nato meeting to lecture world leaders for failing to spend enough on defence, leaving the ‘taxpayers of the United States’ to make up the shortfall. The Netherlands is one of the countries which do not meet the commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defence. To meet the target, the Netherlands would have to spend an extra €2bn a year, RTL news said. ‘It will be an important element in the cabinet formation talks,’ Rutte said. ‘I have already said we are working towards it. But you cannot do this in one go.’ Rutte declined to comment on Trump’s criticism, saying he did not wish to give a review of the president. ‘There would be no point,’ he said. ‘Every country chooses their own head of state.’ More on Trump’s comments  More >

Apple crop sharply reduced after frost

17 crooks in three years have skipped bail and vanished This year's apple harvest will be reduced by up to two-thirds in many places because of the extreme cold and the frost on the night of 19 April, the Algemene Dagblad said on Friday. As a result the blossom on many trees were so damaged that it did not fruit properly, the paper said. Sector organisation GroentenFuit Huis said farmers in Germany and Belgium were also badly affected. 'Belgian farmers fear that they lost 80% of their crop in a single night,' it said. Carlos Faes of Philips Fruittuin in Eindhoven expects apple traders to speculate by keeping apples from last year's crop in cold storage longer,  waiting for scarcity on the market and higher prices, he said. Most years Philips Fruittuin picks 120,000 kilos of apples; this year Faes expects the total to be around 30,000 kilos. The picking season begins in September.   More >

17 crooks in three years have skipped bail

17 crooks in three years have skipped bail and vanished Over the past three years, 17 people let out of jail on bail ahead of their trial have disappeared, the public prosecution department has confirmed. The Telegraaf reported on Friday that the 17 who vanished left a total of €763,000 in bail behind them. Bail is not traditionally part of the Dutch legal system but has become more popular in recent years. In 2014, 56 people were released on bail but that had doubled two years later, the paper said. In April it emerged that one of the Netherlands most notorious drugs barons had disappeared after associates handed over €500,000 to keep him out of custody. The public prosecution department says it thinks Ceti G cut off his electronic tag and fled the country. An additional problem with the bail system in the Netherlands is that officials do not check the course of the money, the Telegraaf said.  More >

Lloyd’s of London gives Rotterdam a miss

17 crooks in three years have skipped bail and vanished British insurance giant Lloyds of London has opted to locate a new office in Brussels, not Rotterdam, even though the company has had a branch office in the port city for years. The deciding factor was not bonuses - although that played a role - but the prevailing regulatory authority, Ralph Van Helden, regional manager Benelux told the NRC. Although the Dutch central bank DNB was being consulted by Lloyd's until the last moment, Lloyd's preferred the 'pragmatic' approach of the Belgian central bank, Van Helden said. 'We needed a regulator which understood the unique, complex structure of our company. This is all the more important as it will remain a small office, employing scores not hundreds of people,' he told the paper. 'Lloyd’s remains committed to its European markets following the ‘Brexit’ vote and is delivering on plans to continue trading with the single market,' the company said in a website statement. Without a central EU base, Lloyd's risked losing an annual €1.5bn in premium income. Amsterdam The race to attract the big London-based financial institutions post-Brexit is heating up with Frankfurt, Paris, Dublin and Amsterdam among the front runners. But Amsterdam is losing out on the bonus front - the 20% cap puts off many financial bosses. Last month US investment bank JPMorgan Chase announced it was moving its European headquarters to Frankfurt, saying the bonus cap was an important reason not to consider Amsterdam. British bank Standard Chartered and the Japanese bank Nomura are also relocating their European headquarters to the German financial centre. HSBC opted for Paris, while Bank of America is opening an office in Dublin.  More >

Manpower withdraws street slang job ad

Earn doekoe? Manpower withdraws KLM holiday job ad written in slang Temporary employment giant Manpower has withdrawn an advert for holiday jobs at Schiphol airport after its attempt at street humour fell flat. Critics said the advert had racist overtones because it used black and Moroccan street slang and implied the manual jobs were only suitable for people with an immigrant background. 'Doekoe verdienen met bagage tillen op Schiphol?' (Earn cash carrying baggage at Schiphol), the advert said, in the form of a conversation between two people. 'Kan ik dan die nieuwe patta’s kopen?,' it continued, (Can I buy those new shoes then?). 'Ja man! Je kan naar fissa's gaan, batra's halen en die gucci riem. Gucci alles,' the answer went on. Fissas refers to parties, batras is alcohol and the Gucci belt is obvious. 'We had hoped to reach people at vocational schools by using slang. It was not our intention to cause affront,' marketing director Jeroen van Hooff said in Friday's Volkskrant. 'We got it wrong and we are sorry.' KLM was not aware of the texts. 'We were surprised and not happy,' a spokesman told the paper. Amsterdam youngsters told DutchNews.nl that the words have been widely adopted in the city's youth culture. 'I always talk about chappen and doekoe,' one said. 'The people complaining obviously don't come from Amsterdam.' Read the complete advert  More >