Dutch king, prime minister send condolences after Barcelona attacks

Dutch king, prime minister send condolences after Barcelona attacks

The Dutch king and queen, prime minister and other party leaders are among those who have sent their condolences to the Spanish people following Thursday night's terrorist attacks in Spain. At least three Dutch people are known to have been injured when a white van ploughed into pedestrians walking along Barcelona's Ramblas in the centre of the old city. Thirteen people died and around 100 were injured in the attack on the popular tourist hotspot. According to international news agency AFP at least people from at least 18 different nationalities are among the dead and injured. King Willem-Alexander and queen Maxima used their Facebook page to send their condolences. 'We are at one with those affected by the Barcelona attacks and united with everyone in Spain and elsewhere who turn their backs on terror and work for a society without fear,' the short statement said. Politicians Prime minister Mark Rutte said the events in Spain were a 'black day'. Describing the scenes after the attack as ‘terrible’, Rutte said: ‘Our thoughts are with the many victims and the wounded. We are following events closely. And the Netherlands is ready to offer help if necessary.’ Other party leaders expressed similar sentiments. Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-Islam PVV, embedded a video of the victims lying on the ground in his Twitter feed. 'Once again, hollow phrases from the big coward who is responsible for open borders and even more Islam,' Wilders said of the prime minister's statement. He later urged a recall of parliament to discuss closing Dutch borders.  More >

Dutch farmers to take NVWA to court

Hilversum hostage taker wanted air time, remanded in custory Dutch poultry farmers are planning to take legal action against the food safety board NVWA over the contaminated egg scandal, RTL Nieuws said on Friday. Farmers are furious that the organisation failed to act after being tipped off that Dutch company ChickFriend was using the banned pesticide fipronil to delouse chickens. 'It is incomprehensible,' chicken farmer Helmus Torsius told the broadcaster. 'All the alarm bells should have been ringing after the anonymous tip-off.' Torsius, who has 100,000 chickens on a farm in Putten, is one of 180 farmers who have been hit by the egg scandal. 'We want compensation for all the damage we have suffered,' he said. The Dutch poultry farmers union puts the total bill at €150m. Lawyer Piet-Hein van Spanje, who represents 20 poultry farmers, told RTL that they have a strong case. Negligence 'We have to decide when to make the claim,' he said. 'We do see that the NVWA has been negligent. The facts are clear. The government might say farmers should have been more careful, but our response is that the NVWA is the watchdog and farmers themselves could not have known [about the contamination].' MPs are due to debate the scandal next week. In particular they want to know why no action was taken after the tip-off in November 2016. Helmus said he has been unable to sell any eggs for the past two weeks, has had to destroy 25,000 free-range hens and 300,000 organic eggs. 'My chickens are on a diet costing me €30,000 a week,' he said.  More >

25th Lowlands festival kicks off

Wellingtons and waterproofs as Lowlands kicks off for 25th time The 25th edition of Lowlands, one of the Netherlands most enduring festivals, kicked off in Biddinghuizen on Friday, with wellingtons an essential part of festival gear. Lowlands runs over three days and with 55,000 visitors it is the first time since 2014 that tickets have sold out, RTLNieuws writes. The first A Camping Flight to Lowlands Paradise, to give the event its full name, took place in 1993 with Rage Against The Machine, The Verve and Iggy Pop among the performers. The site, has been given a makeover for the occasion. ‘We have turned things around completely,’ festival director Eric van Eerdenburg told the broadcaster. In total, 200 acts will perform on 10 stages during the event. The Friday morning programme started with a restful yoga session ahead of the acts which today include Jonna Fraser and Culture Abuse,  Sean Paul, The XX and, 25 years on, Iggy Pop again. Lowlands ends on Sunday. Festival goers are allowed to sleep it off at the various festival campsites for the night but have to be gone by 12 on Monday morning.   More >

PostNL helps Ikea get round junk mail rule

Hilversum hostage taker wanted air time, remanded in custory Ikea is working with PostNL to deliver its catalogues to as many people as possible, including those who don’t want junk mail and have a sticker on their door that says so, the NRC reports. The paper found that not only does the postal service deliver the catalogues, it also puts address stickers on them which makes them legitimate mail. The Ikea catalogue is delivered to 5.7 million of the 7.7 households in the Netherlands and will be sent out between now and August 26. The only way to escape delivery is to register with Nationaal Postfilter where people can opt out of receiving addressed junk mail, the paper writes. According to a PostNL spokesman the agreement with Ikea is not unique. 'Selling addresses is part of our business solutions', he told the NRC. An Ikea spokesperson said the company was aware of the fact that not everyone wants the catalogue but that he hoped these people would register with Nationaal Postfilter. Pro-animal parth PvdD protested about this way around the no-no stickers on junk mail objectors’ doors two years ago but a motion to introduce an opt-in system where people would not receive addressed junk mail unless they asked for it was rejected by the VVD, PVV and CDA.  More >

Hilversum hostage taker wanted air time

Hilversum hostage taker wanted air time, remanded in custory The 33-year-old man who took a woman hostage at the offices of public broadcaster NOS in Hilversum on Thursday has said he wanted air time, the public prosecution department said on Friday. The man, who comes from The Hague, has psychiatric problems. He apparently wanted airtime to share a message about his delusions, the department said. The man stopped the woman outside the NPO building and threatened her with a knife at around 8am on Thursday morning. The receptionist told NOS the man had pressed a large knife to his victim’s throat and spoke in broken Dutch, demanding to speak to someone from CNN. Police, who sealed off a large part of the media park, ended the hostage-taking after around 90 minutes. In January 2015, a young student took over the NOS news studio demanding airtime to air conspiracy theories. He has since been jailed.  More >