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March 2012

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Friday 30 March 2012

Former CDA ministers warn coalition not to cut aid budget
Senior Christian Democratic party members on Friday warned the government it will damage the reputation of the Netherlands abroad if rumours of a planned €1bn cut in the development aid budget are true, Nos television reports.

Lelystad can become a 'tourist airport'
Lelystad regional airport can be expanded to cope with up to 45,000 take-offs and landings a year, according to a new report into the future of the airport on the Flevoland polder.

March was one of the warmest in 100 years
This March was warm, dry and sunny with an average temperature of 8.3 degrees Celsius, two degrees above the norm, the KNMI weather bureau said on Friday.

Household income fell last year for fourth year in a row
Dutch household income fell by an average 0.4% last year, the fourth year in a row that families have had less money to spend, the national statistics office CBS said on Friday.

Dutch budget deficit was 4.7% last year: CBS
The Dutch budget deficit reached 4.7% last year, slightly lower than previous estimates, the national statistics office CBS said on Friday.

High Court confirms decision to abandon ASMI case
Chip industry supplier ASM International said on Friday the High Court had confirmed a company court ruling not to investigate it for mismanagement.

Dutch are pessimistic about future but happy with their own lives
Two-thirds of the Dutch are pessimistic about the future, largely due to the economic problems, according to new quarterly research from the government's socio-cultural think-tank SCP.

Clean Air Nederland in court over smoking ban in cafes
Anti-smoking group Clean Air Nederland is taking the Dutch state to court on Friday in an effort to enforce a ban on smoking in all bars and cafes.

Dutch Red Cross to examine WWII failings
The Dutch Red Cross has set up an independent committee to look into the organisation's actions during World War II, particularly its failure to help Dutch Jews in concentration camps.

AZ beats Valencia 2-1 in Europa League quarter final first leg
Dutch premier division leaders AZ scored a narrow 2-1 home win over Valencia of Spain in the first leg of their Europa League quarter final tie on Thursday night.

Police in the four big cities to strike next week over pay
Police in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht will go on a four-hour strike next Thursday in support of their claim for better pay and conditions.

Coalition talks on cuts: 'Development aid for the chop'
The Dutch development aid budget is set to be cut by €1bn a year as part of a package of measures to reduce government spending in 2013, the Telegraaf and Volkskrant report on Friday.

Thursday 29 March 2012

'Cat and mouse game over government finances is dangerous'
The 'cat and mouse game' being played out between the ruling alliance of VVD, CDA and PVV is 'very dangerous' because of its likely impact on the financial markets, Alexander Pechtold, leader of the Liberal democrats D66, said on Thursday.

Government talks continue, 'sufficient perspective' for a deal
Talks between the minority coalition and anti-immigration PVV on finding at least €9bn in new savings will continue after all, the state information service said on Thursday.

Wild boar in Utrecht to be shot
A family of wild boar which has moved into woods near the town of Rhenen in Utrecht province, are to be shot because they form a danger to traffic, the provincial council has agreed.

Rotterdam hospital 'failed completely' to deal with bacteria outbreak
Rotterdam's Maasstad hospital failed on all fronts in its efforts to control an outbreak of a superbug in 2010 and 2011, according to an official investigation into the incident.

No break with the PVV, talks on spending cuts to continue
The three parties involved in finding a €9bn package of spending cuts have agreed to continue their negotiations after all, Nos television reports on Thursday lunchtime.

Sales of Philips' High Tech Campus is complete (update)
Dutch businessman Marcel Boekhoorn has completed the purchase of Philips' High Tech Campus science park in Eindhoven for €425m, the consumer electronics giant confirmed on Thursday afternoon.

Financial sector future under scrutiny from independent committee
Finance minister Jan Kees de Jager is not opposed to setting up an independent committee to look into the future of the Dutch financial services sector, he told MPs during a debate on Wednesday evening.

Tenants go to court over extra rent increases for high earners
Four people living in rent-controlled properties in Amsterdam are taking the Dutch state to court over an extra 5% rent increase for high earners, Nos television reports.

All eyes on The Hague, it's make or break for the PVV alliance
Thursday is make or break for the minority government's alliance with the anti-Islam PVV, as talks on finding spending cuts of at least €9bn are due to resume at 10.00.

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Police to limit football policing in support of pay claim
Police unions have agreed to reducing policing levels to a minimum at two first division football matches this weekend, as part of their campaign for a better pay and conditions agreement.

Student cleared on charges of threatening Geert Wilders
A 22-year-old art school student was on Wednesday found not guilty of threatening the safety of PVV leader Geert Wilders by The Hague appeal court. A lower court also found the student not guilty.

Daycare abuse trial: accused says he is sorry for hurting everyone
Robert Mikelsons, the 28-year-old man on trial for sexually abusing 67 very young children at daycare centres in Amsterdam, told the court on Wednesday he is very sorry for the pain he has caused.

Budget cut talks 'in a difficult phase', Nos says Wilders wants out
Talks between the minority cabinet and anti-immigration PVV on how to cut government spending by €9bn were halted early on Wednesday and are 'going through a difficult phase', the state information service said.

One in five Dutch school pupils will repeat a year
Over one in five Dutch school pupils will repeat a year before they reach the age of 16, according to school inspectors.

'Geert Wilders' anti-Pole website crashes after Polish tv satire'
The website set up by the anti-immigration PVV to collect complaints about central and eastern European workers, crashed for a time on Tuesday evening after a Polish satirical television show called on viewers to leave a reaction, according to the AD.

Minister survives no-confidence motion over Olympic plans
Sports minister Edith Schippers survived a no-confidence motion in parliament on Tuesday night, as MPs criticised her for not keeping them properly informed about plans to stage the 2028 Olympics.

Amsterdam daycare abuse trial: police questioning to be shown
The public prosecution department is to show part of the police interrogation of child abuse suspect Robert Mikelsons during Wednesday's court hearing, radio station BNR reports.

Queen, princess thank everyone for support for prince Friso
Queen Beatrix and princess Mabel have sent a letter to the people of the Netherlands thanking them for their support following prince Friso's skiing accident.

Tuesday 27 March 2012

No end date for three-party talks on cutting €9bn, says PM
Prime minister Mark Rutte said on Tuesday he cannot set an end date for the on-going negotiations between the minority government and anti-immigration PVV on drawing up a new package of cuts.

First committee findings damn fraudulent Tilburg professor
The committee set up to look into the work of the Tilburg professor accused of faking research data said on Tuesday that more than half of the first batch of reports they have studied are definitely fraudulent.

Hema makes a profit in 2011; improves turnover
Hema, one of the country's oldest and most popular high street chains, on Tuesday announced a rise in profit for 2011 of €11.4m, compared with a loss of €18.3m in 2010. Turnover rose 3% to €1.15bn.

Deliberate HIV infection case should be retried: supreme court
Two men jailed for deliberately infecting other men with HIV at Groningen sex parties in 2008 should be retried, the supreme court (hoge raad) said on Tuesday.

Addiction guru to remain in custody until verdict announcement
Keith Bakker, the addiction guru accused of sexual abuse, will be held in custody until the verdict in his case is announced on April 20, the Amsterdam court said on Tuesday.

Dutch Olympic committee says 'hold fire' on 2028 plans
The Dutch Olympic Committee NOC*NSF wants the cabinet to stop discussing plans to host the Olympics in 2028, fearing the debate about the cost of the event is too dominant, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday.

Students head for Belgium for its lower study fees
The number of Dutch students studying in Belgium increased by 1,000 over the past five years to 4,600 and is set to rise even further, the Volkskrant reports.

Lack of tax information hits plans to raise social housing rents
Housing corporations and private landlords are often unable to find out if their tenants earn more than the maximum level for rent-controlled housing because of poor information from the tax office, Nos television reports on Tuesday.

Book chain Selexyz looks to used book sector for help
Book chain Selexyz and second-hand book chain De Slegte are in talks about a far-reaching partnership, director Jan Dingemans told Radio 1 on Tuesday morning.

Firms also responsible for freelancers' safety: High court
Companies which hire freelance staff are also responsible for their safety, the high court ruled on Monday, in a decision which has wide implications for the growing freelance sector.

Private equity house Permira 'puts Iglo up for sale'
Private equity company Permira wants to sell its frozen food company Iglo, bought from Unilever for €1.7bn in 2006, according to various media reports.

Theo van Gogh killer avoids prosecution after prison fight
The man who murdered film-maker Theo van Gogh will not be prosecuted for beating up a fellow inmate during a fight in the high security wing of Vught prison.

Schiphol starts tests of do-it-yourself biometric passport checks
Amsterdam Schiphol airport begins a test run of a self-service passport control on Tuesday evening in its departure and arrival hall 3.

Addiction guru faces seven years in jail for sexual abuse
Addiction guru Keith Bakker should be jailed for seven years for sexually abusing a number of clients, the public prosecution department said on Monday.

Deloitte Nederland boss steps down over financial interests
The new head of Deloitte Nederland stepped down on Monday after it emerged he had financial stakes in firms which are audited by the accountancy group.

Serious criminals to be put under life-long supervision
Junior justice minister Fred Teeven on Tuesday will introduce a new law that will keep those found guilty of serious violent or sex crimes under life-long supervision after they have served their sentence in prison or psychiatric hospital.

Chinese cooking fat heads for Holland
A first consignment of 20 tonnes of processed waste cooking oil was shipped from the Chinese port of Qingdao en route to the Netherlands on Monday, where it will be used to power KLM planes, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.

Monday 26 March 2012

Terror attack risk remains low in the Netherlands: minister
The chance of a terrorist attack in the Netherlands remains limited, justice minister Ivo Opstelten told MPs in a briefing on Tuesday.

27% of job applicants cover up missing months on their cvs
Some 27% of job applicants in the Netherlands hide periods of unemployment of longer than three months on their cvs, according to research by insurance group BNP Paribas Cardif.

13 cents of each euro spent went to the state in 2010
Thirteen cents out of every euro spent by Dutch households in 2010 went to the state, according to new research by national statistics office CBS.

Brinks money transport van robbery netted €12m
The armed robbery carried out on Brinks money transport van in June 2011 netted the thieves €12m, according to public prosecution department documents.

Construction sector scraps Saturday working plan
The construction sector has agreed to drop plans to treat Saturday as an ordinary working day in its latest pay deal, Nos television reported on Monday.

Councils oppose plan to stop deposits on plastic bottles
Government plans to stop the deposit system on plastic bottles in 2014 are opposed by a majority of local councils, who are responsible for collecting plastic waste.

Police forces fined for failing to protect staff, long shifts
Social affairs ministry inspectors have fined several Dutch police forces for failing to protect staff against aggression and making them work long shifts, website nu.nl reports on Monday.

Maintaining Triple A status is vital: employers' leader
Employers' leader Bernard Wientjes told television programme Buitenhof on Sunday it is vital the Netherlands cuts its budget deficit in order to keep its Triple A rating status.

Choose a different hospital and pay the bill yourself: minister
Patients who want to be treated by a doctor or at a hospital which has no contract with their insurance company will have to pay at least part of the bill themselves, health minister Edith Schippers says in Monday's Trouw.

Extra mobile internet fees were 'stupid', says Vodafone boss
The suggestion by mobile phone firms Vodafone, T-Mobile and KPN that they impose extra charges for the use of mobile internet services such as Skype and Whatsapp was 'stupid', Vodafone Nederland boss Jens Schulte-Bockum says in Monday's Financieele Dagblad.

Sunday 25 March 2012

Ajax beat PSV as title race heats up
Ajax beat PSV 2-0 on Sunday in a crucial premier division match, potentially ending the Eindhoven side's hope of the championship in what was the Amsterdam club's seventh league win in a row.

Bill Gates to Wilders: Come to Africa with me and see what aid can do
Microsoft founder turned philanthropist Bill Gates has been busy trying to persuade the Netherlands not to cut its development aid budget, with interviews and columns in several Dutch papers this week.

More councils criticise illegal immigrant deportation quota
An increasing number of city councils are refusing to cooperate with the government's new quota for deporting illegal immigrants, the Telegraaf reported at the weekend.

Five golds for Oranje at world distance speed skating event
Dutch skaters won four out of six men's gold medals at the world single distance speed skating championships in Heerenveen this weekend.

Pay packages shrink for blue chip company bosses: survey
Pay and bonus deals for the leaders of the Amsterdam stock exchange's 25 blue chip companies showed an average decline of 8.1% last year, the Volkskrant reports.

Parties stake their claims as second poll puts PVV, Labour level
Opposition parties have been quick to state their positions after the prime minister said he would be appealing to a broad group to win support for a new €9bn package of spending cuts.

Friday 23 March 2012

Morgan the orca 'attacked' in Tenerife amusement park
The orca rescued in the Wadden Sea in 2010 and sent to an amusement park in Spain at the end of last year, has deep wounds from being attacked by other orcas, according to bloggers on the whale and dolphin conservation society website.

Ministers agree new rules to reduce forced marriages
Ministers on Friday agreed to tighten up the laws on marriage in the hope of reducing forced marriages, particularly those involving minors.

Prime minister says 'broad' support needed for new savings
A €9bn package of spending cuts currently being drawn up by the minority government and anti-immigration PVV will require support from a broad group of opposition parties, prime minister Mark Rutte said at his weekly news conference on Friday.

'Endemol reaches deal with creditors'
Television production company Endemol appears to have reached a deal with its creditors over its debt of €2.8bn, the NRC reports on Friday.

Reality television debacle costs hospital €188,000
The VU university teaching hospital, broadcaster RTL and television production company Eyeworks have agreed to split the cost of a cancelled reality tv show set in the hospital's accident and emergency department.

Armin van Buuren voted world's best dj at IDMA awards
Dutch dj and producer Armin van Buuren was named best dj in the world at the International Dance Music Awards in Miami on Thursday night.

'Explosive' increase in teenage girl drunks
The number of girls aged 10 to 24 treated in hospital for alcohol poisoning went up an 'explosive 104%' between 2005 and 2010, according to consumer safety association Consument en Veiligheid.

Book chain Selexyz asks for court protection from creditors
Book shop chain Selexyz has applied for court protection from creditors because it does not have enough money to pay shop rents and staff salaries, the company said in a statement.

Elderly femme fatale escapes jail in Belgium
An 83-year-old Dutch woman has escaped a jail sentence in Belgium for swindling several wealthy older men out of money, the Telegraaf reports on Friday.

Rail chaos due to computer error
Thursday's technical failure which led to chaos on the railways in central parts of the country was caused by a software failure, rail operator ProRail said.

25% of Dutch pregnant women take 'Down's' test
Just 25% of Dutch women undergo early tests during pregnancy to find out if their baby is suffering from Down's or other syndromes, the AD reports on Friday. In other EU countries some 50% to 80% of women take the tests.

Manslaughter, rape, child abuse can be prosecuted without time limit
A majority of MPs on Tuesday voted in favour of justice ministry plans to remove the deadline for prosecuting serious crimes such as rape, manslaughter and child abuse.

Dutch dairy exports fell in 2011
The Netherlands exported less cheese and butter last year, with sales to Germany and Belgium hardest hit, the Dutch dairy board said on Friday.

Heracles make KNVB Cup final, after 109 years
Almelo-based football club Heracles will take on PSV Eindhoven in the final of the KNVB Cup on April 8, after beating AZ of Alkmaar 2-4 in extra time.

Brinkman departure hits PVV, Samsom boosts Labour in new poll
The decision by Hero Brinkman to leave the anti-immigration PVV and stay in parliament as an independent has hurt the PVV in the latest Ipsos Synovate opinion poll.

Workers' medical details passed to employers by 'absenteeism stoppers'
The Netherlands' biggest private health and safety firm (arbodienst) has been passing confidential medical information to employers, television current affairs show Zembla will report on Friday evening.

Thursday 22 March 2012

Flying Dutchman is lying Dutchman
The Dutchman who claimed to have succeeded in making a pair of wings which allow him to fly like a bird, confessed on Dutch television on Thursday night that the entire project is a hoax.

Train services almost back to normal
Train services in central parts of the country were almost back to normal by mid afternoon on Thursday following the morning chaos which was caused by a technical fault.

Fewer pensioners rely just on their state pension, research shows
Almost all pensioners in the Netherlands have other sources of income in addition to their state pension (AOW), the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.

Government cutback talks make 'little headway', deadline looms
Talks on reducing government spending by at least €9bn between the minority coalition and the anti-immigration PVV are making little progress, according to various media reports on Thursday.

Some 15,000 demonstrate against sheltered workplace cuts
Some 15,000 people gathered close to parliament in The Hague on Thursday to protest at government plans to reduce spending on sheltered workplace schemes for the handicapped.

The Dutch spend more time online
The amount of time the Dutch spend online rose 18% to an average 9.8 hours a week a the end of last year, compared with 8.3 hours a year earlier, according to new figures from audience monitoring group JIC Stir.

PSV Eindhoven beats Heerenveen to reach KNVB Cup final
PSV Eindhoven beat Frisian side Heerenveen for the third time in four months on Wednesday night, qualifying for the final of the KNVB Cup with a 1-3 away win.

Brinkman, three others form new party in Noord-Holland province
Hero Brinkman, the former PVV parliamentarian who left the national party on Tuesday, has stepped out of the party in Noord-Holland province where he is also a councillor.

Brussels may force KPN to open broadband to competitors
The European Commission has decided to investigate whether the Dutch telecoms regulator Opta should force KPN to give its competitors access to its infrastructure so they can also offer high-speed broadband connections to business customers.

Signalling problems cause railway chaos around Amsterdam
Rail commuters in central parts of the country are faced with widespread disruption on the trains on Thursday morning because of serious technical problems around Amsterdam.

Wednesday 21 March 2012

National ombudsman had 14,000 complaints last year
The national ombudsman received almost 14,000 complaints about poor government service and other red-tape issues last year, virtually unchanged from 2010.

The Netherlands opposes EU financial transaction tax plan
The tax on financial transactions which the European Commission wants to introduce will be damaging for the Dutch economy, finance minister Jan Kees de Jager said on Wednesday.

MPs criticise PostNL management for pay rises and bonuses
A majority of MPs on Wednesday criticised the decision by postal company PostNL to award senior staff pay rises and bonuses at a time when the workforce is being reduced and pension provisions cut.

House prices fell 3.4% in February
House prices were down 3.4% in February compared with the year-earlier period, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday.

Flying Dutchman makes dream a reality, or is it a hoax? (update)
A Dutch mechanical engineer claims to have succeeded in making a pair of wings which allow him to fly like a bird.

US lobbyists make large donations to PVV, says former MP
American lobbyists make large donations to a foundation set up by the anti-immigration PVV, Hero Brinkman, the MP who left the party on Tuesday, told a television talk show on Tuesday evening.

One in four gay men and women experience negative reactions
Around 25% of gay men and women experience public negative comments about their sexuality, according to a new report by the government's socio-cultural think-tank SCP.

Thieves target Gouda's museum
Thieves broke into Gouda's main museum and art gallery on Tuesday night by using explosives to blast open the front doors, news agency ANP reports.

Don't raise value-added tax, government economist tells cabinet
The cabinet would be wrong to increase value-added tax to generate extra revenue and so reduce the budget deficit, Coen Teulings, head of the government's macro-economic think-tank CPB told the Financieele Dagblad in an interview.

Ziggo debuts on Amsterdam stock exchange at €18.50 per share
Cable company Ziggo launched on the Amsterdam stock exchange on Wednesday at €18.50 a share but the opening price was up 11% on that at €21.20.

Unions expect 'limited job losses' at TNT
The takeover of Dutch express parcels service TNT Express by American peer UPS will lead to 'limited job losses' in the first few years, unions say in Wednesday's Financieele Dagblad.

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Hero Brinkman quits the PVV, opposition call for new elections
Hero Brinkman, an MP for the anti-immigration PVV since 2006, has left the party, saying he can no longer accept the lack of democracy within the organisation and the way different groups in society are constantly being singled out for criticism.

Dutch children's author wins biggest prize
Children's book writer Guus Kuijer was on Tuesday announced as the 2012 winner of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. He is the first Dutch writer to win.

Museums must cooperate to soften cuts: culture minister
Junior culture minister Halbe Zijlstra has told the arts council it must look into whether cooperation and even mergers are possible among museums, news agency ANP reports.

Holland's oldest orang-utan dies
The Netherlands' oldest orang-utan has died at the age of 51, the Nos website reports.

More highly-skilled migrants came to Holland last year
Some 5,800 people came to the Netherlands to work under the highly-skilled migrant (kennismigrant) scheme last year, including a record 1,880 academics, the immigration service IND said in its annual report, published on Tuesday.

Dieticians lose their case against health minister
The cost of visiting a dietician need not be restored to the basic healthcare package, a judge ruled on Tuesday during legal proceedings brought by the Dutch association of dieticians.

Hero Brinkman quits the PVV
Hero Brinkman has left the anti-immigration party PVV, saying that as a democrat, he cannot accept the fact the party has been build around one man (its founder Geert Wilders).

Bad news for the cabinet: this is the double dip, says the CPB
Rising unemployment and reduced consumer spending are the main reasons why the economy will only show marginal growth over the next three years, the government's macro-economic think-tank CPB said on Tuesday.

New quality mark for schools starts this autumn
The best schools in the Netherlands will be given the title 'excellent' from this autumn, education minister Marja van Bijsterveldt announced on Tuesday.

Threats to MPs drop dramatically
The number of threats made to politicians dropped considerably in 2011, according to a special police team set up to deal with MPs' safety.

Queen no longer involved in forming a coalition government
Queen Beatrix will no longer be involved in the formation of a new cabinet following a vote in parliament on Monday evening.

'Pension fund managers blunder with complex financial products'
Some of the Netherlands' pension funds are in a worse financial position than necessary because their managers were not skilled enough to deal with complex financial products, sources in the pensions industry have told the Financieele Dagblad.

Civil servants to lose special working rights
The government will soon be able to sack civil servants more easily if a parliamentary motion by the Christian Democrats and the left-wing liberals D66 is accepted.

Childcare giant asks for bank clemency as earnings are pressured
The Netherlands' biggest daycare group Catalpa, bought by US private equity group Providence Equity Partners in 2010, has asked the banks to renegotiate its credit agreements as earnings fail to meet forecasts, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Tuesday.

Three Dutch firms on 'most ethical company' ranking
Two Dutch firms feature on a new list of the 'world's most ethical companies' drawn up by US think-tank Ethisphere Institute: Rabobank and Philips.

Housing corporation watchdog to tighten supervision
The housing corporations' watchdog Centraal Fonds Woningbouw is to toughen up its supervision of the corporations' finances, its director Jan van der Moolen told Radio 1 news on Tuesday.

MPs call for debate on Olympic costs
MPs from across the political spectrum have called for a debate on the likely cost of the Netherlands staging the 2028 Olympics after RTL news said the price tag could be as high as €8bn.

Researchers discover two new Van Gogh paintings
Researchers have attributed a still-life of flowers to Vincent van Gogh that ten years ago they said was not by him, Nos new reported on Monday evening.

Monday 19 March 2012

Catholic church abuse: inspectors knew minors were castrated
Government inspectors were aware that minors were being castrated while being looked after in Catholic-run psychiatric institutions, local paper the Limburger reported on Monday.

1.2 million Dutch nationals have a second nationality: CBS
At least 1.2 million Dutch nationals hold a second nationality but the number of people becoming Dutch citizens is falling, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS.

Amsterdam Occupy camp to be cleared on Thursday
Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan on Monday ordered organisers of the Occupy Amsterdam movement to clear their camp in the city centre outside the former stock exchange by Thursday morning.

Key gangland killing witness to get €1.4m to 'start a new life'
The sum of €1.4m to be paid to a key crown witness in a major gangland killing trial should not be seen as a reward but as money to enable him to live independently and in safety, the public prosecution department said on Monday.

Achmea losses set to hit staff performance-related pay
Losses booked by insurance group Achmea may lead to lower performance-related pay for all staff falling under the standard pay and conditions agreement, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Monday.

For sale: Scheveningen pier
The pier at seaside resort Scheveningen has been put up for sale by its owners, the Van der Valk hotel and catering group, blaming high costs and city council intransigence.

Liberal MPs call for ban on restraints for patients with dementia
MPs from the VVD Liberal party are calling for changes in the use of restraints on elderly patients with dementia, saying their use should be limited as much as possible, the Volkskrant reports on Monday.

Dutch weapons exports rise 22%
The export of weapons by Dutch companies rose 22% to €408m last year, according to Swedish research group Sipri, quoted in the Volkskrant.

AZ's lead in premier league narrows to one point
A 0-0 home draw against NAC Breda narrowed AZ of Alkmaar's lead at the top of the premier division to one point on Sunday.

UPS to take over TNT Express
American express parcel firm UPS has agreed to pay €5.16bn or €9.50 a share for Dutch group TNT Express, the two companies announced on Monday.

At least 15 housing corporations in trouble after speculating
At least 15 housing corporations are in financial difficulties after investing money in risky financial products, Nos television reports on Monday.

Saturday 17 March 2012

PVV MP Brinkman wants leadership vote, criticises anti-Pole website
The anti-immigration PVV has been criticised for setting up a website to collect complaints about central and eastern Europeans by one of its own MPs - Hero Brinkman.

Catholic church abuse: at least one youth castrated for 'homosexuality'
At least one boy under the age of 16 was castrated to 'help' his homosexual feelings while in Catholic church care in the 1950s, the NRC reported on Saturday.

Friday 16 March 2012

Samsom wins Labour leadership
Diederik Samsom was chosen on Friday afternoon as the new leader of the parliamentary Labour party, with 54% of the votes.

House sales drop by 18%
The number of houses sold dropped by 18% in February compared with the year-earlier period, according to figures released on Friday by the land registry office.

Petition aims to stop early release of Fortuyn killer
A petition is being set up to stop the early release of animal rights activist Volkert van der Graaf who shot dead politician Pim Fortuyn in 2002.

Rinnooy Kan to leave SER
Alexander Rinnooy Kan is to step down as chairman of the government's SER advisory body on September 1.

AZ draws Valencia in the Europa League Cup
AZ of Alkmaar was drawn against Valencia CF in the quarter finals of the Europa League Cup on Friday.

Growing numbers of people cannot pay their bills
A growing number of people are unable to pay their bills, the family finance institute Nibud says on Friday.

Repatriation of bus crash dead begins
Repatriation of the Dutch and Belgian dead from the bus crash in a Swiss tunnel began on Friday morning.

Former NMa top man received €352,000 as golden handshake
Former competition authority chairman Pieter Kalbfleisch received a golden handshake of €352,000 when he left the post last year, reports the Financieele Dagblad.

PSV, Twente out of Europa League Cup
Eindhoven football club PSV was unable to overturn its 2-4 away defeat against Valencia on Thursday evening. PSV could only manage a 1-1 draw at home, putting it out of the Europa League Cup.

Tilburg joins in court effort to stop cannabis cafe pass system
Tilburg cannabis cafe owners are to follow their Maastricht colleagues in going to court to halt government plans to turn them into members' only clubs.

The Hague offers safe haven for human rights activists
The Hague is to provide a safe haven for human rights activists without a residence permit who are in danger in their own country.

Mental health authority prepares legal action against €200 fee
More than half of psychiatric patients faced with paying a €200 fee are stopping their treatment or refusing help, research by the mental health services authority shows.

Minister set to ignore advice on dual nationality
The government looks set to stand by its plans to clamp down on dual nationality, despite criticism from the Council of State, according to correspondence between home affairs minister Liesbeth Spies and the government's most senior advisory body.

Thursday 15 March 2012

Den Bosch flags at half-mast for bus crash dead
Flags in Den Bosch will fly at half mast on Friday in a sign of respect for the people who died in Tuesday night's bus crash in a Swiss tunnel, news agency ANP reports.

Greenpeace stops Dutch trawler from fishing
A Dutch trawler was prevented from fishing in the waters off the coast of Mauritania on Thursday by environmental organisation Greenpeace, when activists tied a large buoy to the nets of the Dirk Diederik.

Boskalis sees earnings drop
Dredging group Boskalis on Thursday announced a drop in earnings for 2011 with maritime services arm Smit International, taken over eighteen months ago, doing better than the dredging business.

Rutte ignores EU parliament motion on PVV anti-Pole website
Prime minister Mark Rutte continued to ignore calls to distance himself from the PVV's controversial website on Thursday, despite a large majority vote in the European parliament in favour of a motion brandng the website 'discriminatory and malicious', reports news agency ANP.

Government opens hotline where Poles can complain
The social affairs ministry has launched a special complaints hotline where people from central and eastern Europe can register problems they've had with dubious employment agencies, minister Henk Kamp told MPs on Thursday.

Five Dutch universities in top 100 World Reputation Rankings
Five Dutch universities feature in the latest Times Higher Education ranking of institutions with the best international reputations, with Delft University of Technology highest placed at 51.

Sara Lee coffee to be listed as DE Master Blenders 1753
The coffee and tea arm of US food group Sara Lee is to be listed in Amsterdam later this year under the name DE Master Blenders 1753, the company said on Wednesday.

PVV will not reveal donors' identities if law is passed, says MP
If draft legislation requiring political parties to publish a list of donations becomes law, the PVV will still refuse to do so, MP Hero Brinkman said during a debate on the plans on Wednesday evening, the Telegraaf reports.

5,000 suspect breast implants may have been sold in Holland
The health ministry on Thursday urged all women who had breast implants between 1997 and 2001 to come forward for checks after a television show reported up to 5,000 suspect PIP implants may have been sold in the Netherlands.

Orthodonists raise price of braces by 12% in liberalised market
Orthodonists have put up the price of a standard set of braces to correct crooked teeth by some 12% to nearly €2,000 since the government stopped setting fees at the beginning of this year, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Thursday.

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Council of State criticises dual nationality plans, urges rethink
The government's most senior advisory body, the Council of State, on Wednesday criticised cabinet plans to clamp down on dual nationality and called for a rethink of the legislation.

Seven Dutch children among Swiss bus crash dead, three injured
Seven Dutch children are among the 28 people killed in Tuesday night's bus crash in a Swiss tunnel, according to media reports on Wednesday evening.

Ten Dutch children were on tunnel crash bus, fate unknown
Ten Dutch children were among the 52 people on board a Belgian bus which crashed into the wall in a Swiss tunnel on Tuesday night, killing at least 28.

Bringing back stranded helicopter to cost €21,000
Bringing back the remains of a helicopter captured by Libyan soldiers last year during an abortive rescue attempt will cost €21,000 defence minister Hans Hillen told MPs on Wednesday.

Rotterdam energy firm Eneco ups profit 45%
Rotterdam energy group Eneco booked a 45% increase in net profit last year, while turnover rose almost 2%.

The average Dutch worker is 41 years old
Despite fears that older workers are being increasingly sidelined on the jobs market, the average age of the Dutch workforce is now 41, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS.

Rotterdam public transport group RET retains franchise
Rotterdam council bus company RET has won the concession to provide bus services in the city but has pledged to cut the budget by 40%, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Wednesday.

The Netherlands won't approve EU report on Israeli settlers
The Netherlands is the only EU country to refuse to approve an EU report on the violence used by Israeli settlers against local Palestinians, the NRC reports on Wednesday.

International Criminal Court announces first verdict: guilty
The International Criminal Court in The Hague on Wednesday issued its first ever verdict, finding Congo warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty.

Councils warned to get ready for European football fever
The justice ministry has written to local councils warning them to prepare for this summer's European football championships.

School leaving exam pass rates get worse
The number of school leavers passing their final exams has fallen over the past five years, according to new figures from the education ministry.

Nine Dutch children in Swiss bus tunnel crash (update)
Nine Dutch children were in the coach which crashed in a tunnel Switzerland on Tuesday night, killing at least 28 people, the Dutch foreign ministry confirmed on Wednesday, ANP reports.

Daycare abuse trial to continue with same judges
A special committee of the Amsterdam court on Wednesday rejected defence calls for new judges to be sworn in to hear the case of suspected daycare paedophile Robert Mikelsons.

ASN bank grew strongly in 2011
ASN bank increased its client base by 11% to 575,000 last year, following intensive advertising campaigns, the bank said in a statement on Wednesday.

HBO college wrongly awarded degrees in Qatar and South Africa
Stenden hbo college in Leeuwarden was wrong to award degrees to 259 people in Qatar and South Africa, according to education inspectors.

11 arrested as Peru-Netherlands smuggling route is busted
Eleven people have been arrested in an operation to close down a cocaine-smuggling route between Peru and the Netherlands, news agency ANP reports.

Telegraaf Media posts loss, Wegener advertising income drops
The Telegraaf Media Group posted a loss of over €32m as income from advertising fell again, TMG said on Wednesday.

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Economic crisis will lead to 'thousands of divorces': ING economists
The poor economic climate will lead to an increase in the divorce rate of 'several thousand' over the next year, the Financieele Dagblad quotes ING economists as saying on Tuesday.

EU parliament wants Rutte to condemn PVV anti-Pole website
A large majority of the European parliament is poised to support a motion calling on the Dutch government to distance itself from the PVV's website to collect complaints about central and eastern Europeans, news agency ANP reports.

Popular tv show fined for 'advertising' coffee service
Tv chat show De wereld draait door is being fined €50,000 for allowing a guest to advertise a coffee service.

Cabinet to reveal 'vision' on mortage tax breaks before summer
The cabinet will reveal its vision on the future of the Dutch system of mortgage tax relief before the summer, which is later than planned, junior finance minister Frans Weekers told MPs on Tuesday.

Daycare paedophile case may need new judges
A special committee of the Amsterdam court will announce on Wednesday if new judges should be sworn in to hear the case of suspected daycare paedophile Robert Mikelsons.

Samsom well ahead in Labour party leader race
Diederik Samsom is well ahead among Labour (PvdA) council members in the race to become the new party leader, according to research carried out by radio programme Dit is de dag.

Rutte finally denies a deal with fundamentalist Christian SGP
No deals have been made with the Christian fundamentalist party SGP, prime minister and right-wing liberal VVD party leader Mark Rutte said on Tuesday during the weekly parliamentary question time.

No Dutch majority for new eurozone rules, Labour to vote no
The Labour party will not take the minority government's side and vote in favour of new tougher eurozone monetary union rules, the two leading contenders for the party leadership say in Tuesday's NRC.

Spain can easily cut 0.5% more: finance minister
Spain can easily cut a further 0.5% from its budget deficit, finance minister Jan Kees de Jager told the press late on Monday night, reports news service Dow Jones.

Life insurance pushes Achmea into the red
Insurance giant Achmea booked a net loss of €208m last year, compared with net profit of €1.2bn in 2010. Revenue fell by 8% to €23.2bn, the group said in a statement.

Turkey is a stepping-stone to Middle-East and Russia: Imtech CEO
Dutch companies with an eye on the Middle-East and Russian markets should use Turkey as a stepping-stone, Gouda-based engineering group Imtech's CEO René van der Bruggen says in the Telegraaf.

UPS will only raise TNT Express offer marginally
American express delivery group UPS will only increase its offer for Dutch firm TNT Express by a ‘symbolic’ amount, Dutch media quoted news agency Reuters as saying on Tuesday.

Benefit fraud to be digitally tracked
Local councils are to be given more powers to track down benefit fraud and more government agencies will share digital data to make this easier.

Dutch hotels among the most expensive in Europe
Dutch hotels are among the most expensive in Europe and 27th in the world ranking, according to the hotel price index published on Tuesday by booking site Hotels.com.

Taxi war looms at Schiphol Airport
A taxi war looms at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport where unlicensed drivers are 'stealing' passengers from the licensed drivers, according to local television station AT5.

Talks to start on Nedcar social plan
Management at Limburg car maker NedCar, the unions and works council are to begin negotiations on a redundancy package for the plant’s 1,500 workers, news agency ANP reports on Tuesday.

PVV 'anti-Pole' website is damaging the economy: MEP
The website set up by the PVV, where Dutch people can register their complaints about people from central and eastern Europe, is damaging the Dutch economy, Hans van Baalen, leader of the Dutch Liberals in the European parliament, says in Tuesday's Telegraaf.

Youth care waiting lists grow again
Waiting lists for child and youth care are growing longer again, with nearly 3,000 youngsters waiting more than nine weeks for a foster home or other care in 2011. That is 100 more than in 2010.

CDA chairwoman denies 'no new immigration laws' stand
The chairwoman of the Christian Democratic party, Ruth Peetoom, has denied telling a meeting in Limburg that 'enough is enough' in terms of tougher immigration policies.

Monday 12 March 2012

Publishers pull plug on free newspaper De Pers
Publishing groups Wegener and Mountain Media are closing down free newspaper De Pers after five years at the end of this month.

European Commission 'very probably' to appeal ING break-up ruling
European competition commissioner Joaquim Almunia is 'very likely' to appeal against a recent European Court ruling which said the Commission had been too tough on financial services group ING, the Financieele Dagblad reports.

PSV's coach Fred Rutten sacked after disappointing results
Fred Rutten has been sacked as coach of premier division football club PSV Eindhoven after a string of disappointing results.

Education minister spends €70m on pre-school language skills
Education minister Marja van Bijsterveldt has allocated €70m this year to help improve pre-school language skills and will increase that to €95m in 2013.

Some 2.6 million tax returns submitted, 6.4 million to go
Some 2.6 million of the total nine million tax returns due to be filed before the April 1 deadline have now been submitted, the tax office said on Monday.

European MPs work on motions condemning PVV anti-Pole website
Members of the European parliament are working on motions condemning a website set up by the anti-immigration PVV where people can complain about central and eastern Europeans, Dutch world service radio reports on Monday.

Everyone is insured for emergency care, even teen drunks: minister
Health minister Edith Schippers has rejected calls from a hospital chief for teenage drunks to be made to pay for their own hospital stay, the Volkskrant reports on Monday.

Home owners lobby wants easier mortgages for contract workers
Banks should make it easier for people on short-term or flexible employment contracts to get a mortgage, according to home owners' lobby group VEH in Monday's AD.

Cost of graves varies widely
The most expensive place council-run graveyard in the country is the Esserveld cemetery in Groningen, where a 30-year lease on a grave costs €6,869, according to research by funeral insurance group Dela.

Leadership campaign boosts Labour
The campaign to find a new leader to replace Job Cohen has boosted Labour's opinion fortunes by five seats so far, according to the latest Maurice de Hond opinion poll.

All to play for in Dutch premier league
AZ Alkmaar extended their lead at the top of the Dutch premier division in this weekend’s football action, while Ajax of Amsterdam moved into second place. But FC Twente and PSV Eindhoven both lost ground on the leaders with defeats.

Sunday 11 March 2012

Amsterdam daycare abuse trial starts
The trial of Robert Mikelsons, accused of abusing and filming dozens of children at daycare centres and private homes in Amsterdam, starts on Monday, over a year after the scandal broke.

EU students face tougher rules to claim Dutch study financing
Students from other European countries will no longer qualify for a Dutch student grant unless they work 14 hours a week, junior education minister Halbe Zijlstra has told MPs.

Prime minister urged to come clean on agreements with SGP
Opposition party D66 has urged prime minister Mark Rutte to come clean about any agreements he has made with the fundamentalist Christian party SGP.

Friday 09 March 2012

Fines for poor performance and no bonuses yet for NS bosses
Transport minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen has fined the two state-owned rail firms ProRail and NS a total of €1,425,000 for poor performance in 2011 and 2010.

Cannabis cafe owners go to court in last-ditch bid to stop pass system
Lawyers representing a number of cannabis cafe owners and workers in Maastricht are going to court in an effort to halt government plans to turn them into members' only clubs.

Dutch foreign minister opposes military intervention in Syria
Military intervention in Syria, where dozens of anti-government protestors have been killed, is not yet on the cards, Dutch foreign minister Uri Rosenthal is quoted as saying after a meeting of EU ministers in Copenhagen.

Afghan police mission will not be expanded
Dutch soldiers and police officers will not be involved in training border guards in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz and nor will they work in other provinces, the cabinet confirmed on Friday.

Longer jail term for Remembrance Day screamer
The man who disrupted the 2010 Remembrance Day commemorations by screaming and causing the crowd to panic, has been jailed for 16 months, eight-months suspended, by Amsterdam's appeal court.

Government considers 'export ban' on deadly bird flu recipe
The cabinet is looking into the possibility of stopping the spread of information about a deadly form of the bird flu virus to the rest of the world by using an export ban, junior farm minister Henk Bleker told MPs on Thursday evening.

Cost cuttings, more gamblers boosts Holland Casino earnings
State-owned casino group Holland Casino booked a profit in 2011 after two loss-making years, chief executive Dick Flink told the Financieele Dagblad on Thursday evening, without giving details.

Ziggo picks March 21 for IPO, hopes to raise up to €745
Ziggo will list on the Amsterdam stock exchange on March 21 and hopes to raise €745m from selling up to 20.125% of its shares, the cable company said on Friday.

Car park and street parking fees rise sharply
City and shopping centre parking fees have gone up so much they are driving shoppers away, according to the retail sector's annual survey of parking charges.

Speed limit to go up to 130 kph on almost half Dutch motorways
The maximum speed limit will go up from 120 kph to 130 kph on some 45% of the country's motorway network on September 1, transport minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen told MPs in a briefing on Thursday evening.

ABN Amro back in the black
Nationalised bank ABN Amro on Friday reported it had made net profit of €689m in 2011 compared with a loss of €414m in 2010.

Two Europa League wins for Dutch clubs, PSV fights back
A strong come back against Valencia by PSV Eindhoven and wins for FC Twente and AZ left the three Dutch clubs remaining in the Europa League in good shape for the second leg of the round of 16.

Thursday 08 March 2012

Socialists lose popularity, Labour and PVV draw level in new poll
Support for the Socialist Party (SP) has fallen in the latest Synovate opinion poll, which also puts the anti-Islam PVV and Labour party level pegging, website nu.nl reports on Thursday.

'Dutch consumer spending very weak compared with eurozone'
For the past 10 years, Dutch public consumption has been weaker than in other eurozone countries and this is one of the main reasons why the country is now in recession, the central bank said in a new report on Thursday.

Fanny Blankers-Koen in international athletics hall of fame
Dutch athlete Fanny Blankers-Koen, who won four gold medals at the 1948 London Olympics, has been given a place in the international athletics federation's hall of fame.

Air France-KLM posts €809m loss, warns on fuel prices
Franco-Dutch airline Air France-KLM on Thursday posted a loss of €809m in 2011 and warned soaring fuel costs would hit profits again this year.

Energy collectives benefit consumers and lobby groups
Moving to a collective energy contract, such as through motoring lobby group ANWB, cuts household bills for gas and electricity but also benefits the organisation, Trouw reports on Thursday.

Tax office can't collect €2bn a year
The tax office is unable to collect some €2bn in tax every year because firms or individuals go bankrupt or simply disappear, the Volkskrant reports on Thursday.

Drunken children 'should pay for their own treatment'
Teenagers who have consumed so much alcohol they have to be hospitalised should be forced to pay for their treatment themselves, say hospital chiefs in Enschede.

Funda should treat all real estate agents equally, says cartel body
Housing webside Funda.nl should stop giving priority to members of the Dutch real estate association NVM, the competition authority said on Thursday.

ABN Amro gets parts of itself back from Royal Bank of Scotland
State-owned ABN Amro bank is taking over parts of Royal Bank of Scotland's Dutch corporate banking activities for free, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Thursday.

Cuts hit daycare services (update)
Government spending cuts have led to a 12% drop in demand for pre-school daycare places and there is a risk quality will be hit, according to research by trade union FNV.

IQ-related care needs difficult to establish, says government body
Cabinet plans to limit special care services to people with an IQ of below 70 will lead to thousands of people being denied services they need, the government's socio-cultural planning agency SCP said in a new report on Thursday.

Two-thirds would say 'no' to a return to the guilder
If PVV leader Geert Wilders has his way and organises a referendum on a return to the guilder, two-thirds of voters would say no, according to a poll by Maurice de Hond.

Facebook, health minister and police win Big Brother awards
Social networking website Facebook, health minister Edith Schippers and the national police service KLPD are the winners of the 2011 Big Brother awards for infringing on citizens' privacy, the Telegraaf reports on Thursday.

Dutch low-fat cheese is world champion
A low-fat cheese named Vermeer and made by Dutch dairy combine FrieslandCampina has been named the world's best cheese at an international competition in the US.

Wednesday 07 March 2012

Computer problems cost industry €19bn a year
Computer problems and shaky IT skills are costing employers some €19bn a year, according to researchers at Twente University.

Half Amsterdam's police stations set to close
The creation of a new national police force will lead to the closure of 15 of Amsterdam's 32 local police stations, the head of the capital's police union APV says in Wednesday's Parool.

Support grows for inquiry into housing corporations
Christian Democrat MPs on Wednesday called on the government to set up a parliamentary inquiry into housing corporations following a string of scandals and financial problems.

'Too fat' top model competition winner wins case against agency
Top model agency Elite has been ordered to pay €65,000 to a winner of the Holland's Next Top Model television show, after dropping her because she was 'too fat'.

Minister looks into reducing bank risks
Finance minister Jan Kees de Jager has commissioned research into ways of limiting banks' from exposing themselves to excessive risks and therefore strengthening financial stability, the finance ministry said on Wednesday.

Some 60% of Dutch women now work
Some 60% of Dutch women had a job of 12 hours a week or more last year, compared with 53% 10 years ago, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS.

New rent rules infringe tenants' privacy, says law firm
The cabinet has infringed the privacy of millions of people living in rented accommodation by allowing the tax office to pass on income details to their landlords, according to law firm Kennedy van der Laan.

Chip machinery maker ASMI profit falls 40% in Q4
Chip industry supplier ASM International saw net profit fall 40% in the final quarter of 2011 to €15m.

'Minister did not admit full extent of winter railway problems'
Problems on the railways during the recent cold snap were more serious than transport minister Melanie Schultz admitted to parliament, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday, quoting NS documents.

More refugee centres to close
A further five refugee centres with 2,400 places are set to close down this year due to falling asylum seeker numbers, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.

Coalition unmoved by teachers' protest, cuts to go ahead
A narrow majority of MPs remain in favour of the government's plans to cut spending on special needs education, despite a rally by some 50,000 teachers in Amsterdam on Tuesday afternoon.

No more jobs for life: just 2,000 got a permanent contract last year
No more than 2,000 people were given a permanent job contract in 2011, compared with 83,000 in 2010, according to new labour market figures from the government's job centre and benefits payment agency UWV.

Tuesday 06 March 2012

Rutte unconvinced by Wilders' guilder report
Prime minister Mark Rutte is not yet convinced by the report commissioned by Geert Wilders into the reintroduction of the guilder, he told parliament on Tuesday.

Nissan wants to take over part of NedCar plant
Car-manufacturer Nissan declared in interest in taking over part of the NedCar plant during a conversation with Nos television at the Geneva car show on Tuesday.

50,000 teachers protest against government education cuts
Around 50,000 teachers demonstrated in the Amsterdam Arena on Tuesday in protest at government plans to cut the education budget.

Starbucks opens concept store in Amsterdam
American coffee chain Starbucks is opening a new store on the Rembrandtplein in Amsterdam on Friday where it will experiment with and develop new types of coffee and food concepts.

Swedish Automobile to become Spyker again
Swedish Automobile, the Dutch car maker, which bought Saab in 2010, is to refocus on its luxury car brand Spyker and change back its name, the company said in a statement on Monday evening.

Swiss interest in Nedcar plant
A Swiss company is interested in taking over the Limburg car-maker Nedcar, following the announcement that the Japanese car manufacturer Mitsubishi is to pull-out next year, the FNV Bondgenoten union said on Tuesday.

Over-55s lose out in jobs market
The state-run benefit agency and job centre organisation UWV is to make 150 extra staff available to help the over-55s into work, according to its annual report.

Fingerprints added to residency permits for non-EU nationals
Non-EU nationals applying for residency permits in the Netherlands will soon have to supply their fingerprints as well as a photograph to the immigration authorities, if draft legislation becomes law.

Teachers strike over budget cuts
Around 2,000 schools around the country are closed on Tuesday due to industrial action by teachers who are protesting at cuts to the education budget.

Deposits on plastic bottles to be scrapped
The packaging industry and junior environment minister Joop Atsma have worked out a deal on waste disposal and recycling which will end the system of deposits on plastic bottles.

Common anti-depressants can harm unborn babies: research
Taking the most prescribed anti-depressant during pregnancy can harm the foetus, according to research by the Erasmus University teaching hospital in Rotterdam.

Thousands complain about new dentist fees
Some 2,500 people have so far complained about having to pay extra to visit the dentist, according to the national patients' federation NPCF, website nu.nl reports.

Monday 05 March 2012

Report shows the Netherlands can leave the euro, says Wilders
A report into the cost of the euro commissioned by Geert Wilders shows the Netherlands can return to the guilder, the PVV leader said at the presentation on Monday afternoon.

Media black-out surrounds three-party talks on €9bn in cuts
The minority coalition and its alliance partner on Monday imposed 'total media silence' on themselves in connection with their negotiations to try to find at least €9bn in spending cuts and savings.

Police take industrial action over pay
Police in Flevoland, Gooi and Utrecht stopped handing out fines for minor offences on Monday afternoon, in support of their campaign for better pay and working conditions.

Energy bills rise 8%
The average household in the Netherlands paid €156 a month for gas and electricity last month, up €13 on a year earlier, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS.

Police unions give minister ultimatum
The three main police unions will start taking industrial action if justice minister Ivo Opstelten does not meet their demands for an improved pay deal by midday, according to media reports on Monday.

Competition body wrongly fines firms for not registering takeovers
The competition body NMa has wrongly fined dozens of firms for failing to register their involvement in a takeover, the company court ruled on Monday.

Health minister threatens legislation on salt levels in food
The food industry faces legislation to force a reduction in salt and fat levels in processed food, unless it voluntarily takes action, health minister Edith Schippers says in Monday's Volkskrant.

Wilders' anti-euro research published on Monday
PVV leader Geert Wilders will on Monday afternoon present the results of a report he commissioned into the likely effect of the Netherlands leaving the euro.

Cash reserved to pay unemployment benefits has all been spent
The billion euro reserves of money set aside to pay unemployment benefits have been spent, Trouw reports on Monday.

Philips plans to sell its High Tech Campus in Eindhoven
Electronics giant Philips is planning to sell its High Tech Campus in Eindhoven to private investor Marcel Boekhoorn, the Telegraaf reports on Monday, citing sources in the property sector.

Friday 02 March 2012

EU warns the Netherlands to keep to EU budget deficit rules
Countries such as the Netherlands must ensure they meet EU monetary union rules or they will be punished by the financial markets, European president Herman Van Rompuy said at the end of a two-day summit in Brussels on Friday.

European court tears up part of Brussel's ING bail-out conditions
The European court of justice on Friday ruled that part of the European Commission's decision to force ING to sell some operations in return for state aid were wrong.

New car sales fell 10% in February
The sale of new cars in the Netherlands fell 10% last month, compared with February 2011, according to motoring organisations Rai and Bovag.

Ministers agree to get tough on dual nationality, also for the Dutch
Ministers on Friday decided to press ahead with legislation aimed at reducing the number of people with dual nationality, despite widespread opposition.

Nijmegen wants Christian Democrat Bruls as mayor
Nijmegen city council wants CDA member Hubert Bruls as its new mayor and has rejected the selection committee's favourite, Labour MP Sharon Dijksma.

Officials seize five million cigarettes
Some five million cigarettes without tax stickers have been found at a warehouse in the Limburg village of Stein.

Tax office may close 22 branches
The tax office is considering closing down 22 of its 40 branches in an effort to meet government spending cuts of €400m, website nu.nl reports on Friday.

Civil servants face salary freeze
The salaries of all civil servants are set to be frozen for a further period in order to help the government meet eurozone monetary union rules, the Telegraaf reports on Friday, quoting coalition sources.

2012 will be a tough year for staffing agencies, say economists
This year will be a difficult one for staffing agencies with revenues set to go down by some 3% because of the economic problems and weak labour market, according to a new report by economists from ABN Amro bank.

Prince Friso moved to Wellington private hospital in London
Prince Friso, in a coma since a skiing accident two weeks ago, was moved to the Wellington private hospital in London on Thursday, the state information service RVD confirmed.

Thursday 01 March 2012

Prince Friso being moved to London
Prince Friso, who has been in a coma for nearly two weeks following a skiing accident, is being moved by hospital plane to a specialist clinic in London on Thursday afternoon, according to various media reports.

Social housing rents rise 13% for new tenants
Housing corporations are putting up the cost of rent-controlled properties by some 13% when they are let to new tenants, according to research by tenants’ lobby group Woonbond.

Budget deficit to hit 4.5% next year, spending cuts should total €9bn
Ministers will have to cut spending by an extra €9bn over the next two years if the budget deficit is to be reduced to below 3%, in line with monetary union rules, according to new economic forecasts from the government's CPB think-tank.

Rutte refuses to condemn PVV website after Brussels meeting
Prime minister Mark Rutte on Thursday again refused to condemn a website set up by the anti-immigration PVV where people can complain about central and eastern Europeans, following a meeting with the chairman of the European parliament.

The Netherlands will keep to the EU rules, says Brussels
The European Commission has confidence that the Netherlands will meet EU budget rules, a spokesman for the Commission told Dutch newspapers on Thursday, following the publication of new Dutch economic forecasts.

Lapwing egg hunt can go ahead
The Council of State or supreme court has rejected bird protection group protests about the annual lapwing egg hunt in Friesland.

The Netherlands beats England 2-3 in football friendly
An injury-time goal from Arjen Robben gave the Netherlands a 2-3 win over England in Wednesday evening's football friendly, as Oranje continues its preparations for this summer's European Cup.

Government starts Polish charm offensive
The Netherlands has begun a charm offensive to try to restore damage done to the country's reputation in Poland by Geert Wilder's website to collect complaints about Poles and eastern Europeans, the Volkskrant reports on Thursday.

Dating fraud on the increase
Hundreds of people in the Netherlands were conned out of cash last year after falling in love with a partner via internet who turned out to be a fraud, according to the fraud help desk FHD.

Tax office opens 2012 tax return campaign
Tax officials will this year pay special attention to information about salaries on this year's tax returns, the Telegraaf reports on Thursday.

'Prince Friso may be moved to London'
Prince Friso, who has been in a coma since a skiing accident earlier this month, may be transferred to hospital in London, according to Austrian media reports.

Ahold profits reach €1bn in 2011
Supermarket giant Ahold booked net profit well above forecasts at €1bn in 2011 but warned on Thursday sales growth in the first quarter will reflect difficult market conditions.

Sara Lee's coffee arm to be listed in Amsterdam, DE is back
The coffee and tea arm of US food group Sara Lee is to be listed in Amsterdam, probably under the old Dutch name Douwe Egberts, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Thursday.

Coalition backs total ban on hashish, marijuana exports exaggerated
A majority of MPs back a total ban on the sale of hashish because foreign crime gangs profit from importing the drug into the Netherlands, the Telegraaf reports.

Budget deficit to hit 4.5% next year, spending cuts should total €9bn
Ministers will have to cut spending by an extra €9bn if the budget deficit is to be reduced to below 3%, in line with monetary union rules, according to new economic forecasts from the government's CPB think-tank.

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