Food fight in Groningen pensioner complex as bosses ban takeaways

Food fight in Groningen pensioner complex as bosses ban takeaways

A group of pensioners in a sheltered housing project in Groningen face being taken to court because they are refusing to eat the meals provided in the complex. Instead the pensioners have started ordering takeaways from a company which supplies 'beef with real gravy', the Volkskrant reported on Thursday, much to the anger of the centre managers. The row over the catering goes back several months, when the centre's own kitchens were closed and meals were shipped in from an outside caterer. Then the complaints started, Jaap Pronk, 88, told the paper. He and 20 others decided to order in their food from another company and stopped paying towards the collective meal provision. Now the centre's management, who declined to speak to the Volkskrant, are taking the pensioners to court, arguing they are breaking the terms of their lease. Boss Pronk says the contracts make no such claim and give residents free rein to chose their own meal providers. 'We are no longer boss over our own mouths,' he said. 'They have not got a leg to stand on.' Junior health minister Martijn van Rijn has since become embroiled in the row and says the company would be going too far to take the pensioners to court. Both sides in the dispute need to come up with a settlement, he said: 'They need to get back round the table and keep a cool head.'  More >

Refugee resettlement scheme overhauled

Food fight in Groningen pensioner complex as bosses ban takeaways The financial package given to refugees who voluntarily leave the Netherlands is to be overhauled, junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff has decided. Currently refugees are given a sum of money to help them settle when they return home, but Dijkhoff now wants them to provide receipts before the money is handed over, the Telegraaf said on Friday. The money must be spend on 'income guaranteeing activities' such as setting up a micro company or a training scheme, but housing may also still be covered, the paper said. Figures on the website for the International Organization for Migration, a UN body which administers the scheme, show adults will also be eligible for a lower payment of up to €1,800, rather than €2,250 at present. At the same time, the minister wants to increase the amount payable per child from €1,000 to €2,800 to help fund their education in their country of origin. The total figure per adult and child includes a €300 cash payment. However, a spokesman for the ministry told the Telegraaf that the new figures are only proposals and have not yet been confirmed. Last year Dijkhoff scrapped a number of countries from the list where payments are applicable after it emerged that people were claiming to be refugees to access the funding. So far 712 people have made a claim on the system this year, the paper said.  More >

Drugs, jihadi flag on youth prison photos

Drugs and jihadi flag circulate at Nijmegen youth detention centre A youth detention centre in Nijmegen has been heavily criticised after photographs showing detainees with jihadi flags and marijuana came into the hands of local broadcaster Omroep Gelderland. The justice ministry has confirmed the photos were taken inside the De Hunnerberg unit but said that 'drugs, phones and items of a discriminatory, inflammatory or militant nature' are against the centre's rules. The ministry did say the photographs are three years old and have been circulating online for some time. The broadcaster says lawyers for the detainees shown on the photographs were not aware of their existence. MPs have called for a debate with the minister about the findings. Two months ago, junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff sent a copy of the last inspectors' report on the detention centre. It criticised the lax approach of security guards and said no proper records were kept about who visited the centre.  More >

Senate approves participation declaration

Food fight in Groningen pensioner complex as bosses ban takeaways The senate has approved legislation which requires everyone who has to take an integration course or applies for Dutch nationality to sign a pledge promising to uphold key Dutch values. The introduction of the pledge was backed by a large majority of MPs in February and now has the approval of the upper house. It will come into effect in October The participatieverklaring – participation declaration – includes a commitment to ‘respect’ values, such as freedom of speech, and ‘make an active contribution to Dutch society’. Local authorities will be able to fine people who refuse to sign up to €340. They can also be refused a residency permit or citizenship. Opponents of the declaration point out that new arrivals are being asked to sign a document which not all Dutch nationals support or adhere to. Declaration What does the participation declaration say? Here’s a translation of the version currently being used in town halls around the country. Welcome to the Netherlands! The Netherlands is a constitutional democracy. This means that everyone has the same rights and that everyone must obey the same laws. In the Netherlands, the values of freedom, equality and solidarity are central. These values are connected to rights which also apply to you. These values can only be upheld if everyone actively contributes to society. In the Netherlands, participation is extremely important. Freedom In the Netherlands, everyone may think, do and say what he will. This means that: Everyone can express their own opinions Everyone may have their own belief and is free to decide whether to believe or not Everyone has the right to his or her own sexual preference Everyone has the right to make their own choices and independence There are boundaries to this. What someone says or does may never conflict with the law. For example, you may not deliberately insult someone, discriminate against them or stimulate hatred. Equality In the Netherlands, all citizens are treated equally. Discrimination on the grounds of sex, belief, origin or sexual preference is not accepted. Solidarity In the Netherlands, citizens are responsible for society. Citizens have the right to live in a safe environment, to decent housing, to fair labour contracts, a minimum wage when they work, good education and good medical care. The government has a duty to protect people against exploitation and unfair treatment. In principle, citizens must ensure they can look after themselves. If that is not possible, and no-one else can help, the government will offer help. Participation In the Netherlands, we ask all citizens to contribute to a pleasant and safe society, for example, by working, going to school or doing voluntary work. This can be done in the neighbourhood, at school or through an association. Speaking Dutch is very important in this. I declare that I have taken note of the above listed Dutch society values and that I will repect them. I declare that I want to make an active contribution to Dutch society and that I expect to be given the space and the cooperation of my fellow citizens to do this. Signed: Please note, this is a rough translation by for information purposes only  More >

Utrecht 'terrorist' is a gamer: lawyer

Food fight in Groningen pensioner complex as bosses ban takeaways An 18-year-old youth arrested last week for distributing propaganda for IS has been remanded in custody for two weeks while the investigation continues. The man was picked up last Thursday in Utrecht on suspicion of spreading IS videos and possibly instructing others on how to make explosives, the public prosecution department said in a statement. He has not yet been charged with any crimes. However, the man’s lawyer told the AD that the youth does not speak Arabic and is not a Muslim. The images he has circulated come from computer games and he has photo-shopped IS flags and beards into characters from the games, Louis de Leon said. ‘He has become a bit caught up in the world of online gaming and the networks that spring up around chat rooms,’ De Leon told the paper. He suggested the youth may have been noticed by the security services after coming into online contact with people who are being tracked. The arrest was triggered by an AIVD tip-off, the paper said.  More >