The Netherlands is a 'very strong ally' says British prime minister

The Netherlands is a ‘very strong ally’ says British prime minister

The Netherlands is a 'very strong ally' for Britain within Europe, British prime minister David Cameron told reporters in The Hague on Thursday. Cameron is on a whirlwind tour of EU capitals in an effort to win support for his reform plans following the general election earlier this month. Cameron met Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte in his official residence for talks. 'We will discuss many issues but it is evident that we will talk about European reform, the need for flexibility, the need to focus on growth and jobs and the internal market,' Cameron said on his arrival. [banner] The NRC said Rutte does not favour a special position for Britain within Europe, as Cameron wants. However, he is keen to do all he can to keep Britain within Europe, the paper said. 'The Netherlands considers Britain as an insurance policy against the dominance of Germany and France,' the paper said.  More >

Public prosecutor drops F*** the king case

No date yet set for Geert Wilders’ discrimination trial The public prosecution department on Thursday dropped the case against a man accused of insulting the monarchy by shouting ‘fuck the king’, stating no offence had been committed. After a ‘thorough investigation’ officials decided the statement was not a crime because it was made ‘within the public debate’, the department said in a statement. Abulkasim al-Jaberi had been ordered to appear before a magistrate on May 27 after refusing to pay a €500 fine. He was arrested at a demonstration against Zwarte Piet last November for shouting ‘fuck the king, fuck the queen and fuck the monarchy’. [banner] That decision to prosecute him caused a storm of protest and raised questions about the right to free speech. The dispute led the public prosecution department to delay the trial pending 'further investigation'. Al-Jaberi’s lawyer Willem Jebbink says that his client did not mean to insult anyone. ‘What he is effectively saying is “get rid of the king”,’ Jebbink told broadcaster Nos.  More >

NXP sells performance amplifiers to China

NXP sells performance amplifiers to Chinese state-owned JAC Eindhoven-based chip company NXP has agreed to sell its performance amplifier division to Chinese state-owned company JAC Capital for $1.8bn. All the activities of the NXP RF Power business and 2,000 NXP employees who are primarily engaged globally in the RF Power business, including its entire management team, are part of the deal, as are all relevant patents and intellectual property. They will be placed in a new company that will be incorporated in the Netherlands which will be 100% owned by JAC, NXP said in a statement. NXP said in March it wanted to sell the unit.  More >

10,000 letter boxes set to disappear

10,000 letter boxes set to disappear as PostNL seeks to cut costs More than half the Netherlands' 19,000 letter boxes are to be removed because of falling volumes of post but those which remain will be concentrated in central areas with easy access, PostNL said on Thursday. Earlier this week, senators voted in favour of changing the rules to allow PostNL to remove over 10,000 letter boxes in order to save cash. Organisations representing the elderly had urged PostNL to think carefully about the plans because older people are more likely to post letters. They say letter boxes should be concentrated in shopping centres, on the way in to residential areas and near healthcare institutions. 'PostNL has listened to us,' a spokesman told news agency ANP. [banner]  More >

'KPN tranmission lines were tapped by BND'

No date yet set for Geert Wilders’ discrimination trial The German security service BND tapped dozens of key transmission lines between the Netherlands and the rest of the world on behalf of NSA in the US, according to Austrian MP and whistleblower Peter Pilz. Pilz presented a list of tapped transmission lines at a press conference in Bern on Wednesday but declined to say where he got the list. The list included at least 71 KPN internet cable connections which went from Amsterdam and Rotterdam via Germany to other countries including Saudi Arabia, Israel and Russia, the NRC reported. [banner] Pilz says the spying project was called ‘Eikonal’ and ran from 2005-2008. Earlier this week, Dutch home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk told MPs there is no evidence the Netherlands was listened into or that the Netherlands was a target. Dutch MEP Judith Sargentini wants Plasterk to properly investigate the claims, saying she fears the Netherlands was the subject of industrial espionage.  More >