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April 2012

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Sunday 29 April 2012

Queen's Day gets off to sunny start
The traditional Queen’s Day celebrations kicked off on Sunday evening with dance events and concerts in the big cities and Utrecht’s street market which traditionally starts on April 29.

Amsterdam football club Ajax almost assured of premier league title
Amsterdam football club Ajax are almost assured of the premier league title following their 1-2 win over FC Twente on Sunday.

Saturday 28 April 2012

Labour damaged by failure to sign up to five-party austerity package
New Labour party leader Diederick Samsom is under fire for not taking part in this week's high-pressure austerity talks, with both party members and opinion polls showing a drop in support for the PvdA.

Obama fundraiser set to be the next US ambassador to Holland
Washington lawyer Timothy Broas, 'who has funnelled more money to the political campaigns of president Barack Obama than nearly anyone else' has been nominated as the next US ambassador to the Netherlands, the Washington Times reports.

Space research budget threatened
A group of 125 scientists have urged the government and its scientific advisory bodies not to cut spending on experiments in space, the Volkskrant reports on Saturday.

Economic crisis leads Dutch to cut down on holidays
Almost one in five people will not go on holiday this year, while a further 25% will take one holiday rather than two or more, according to research by family spending institute Nibud.

Police unions to step up pay campaign
Police unions are likely to step up their campaign for more pay and better working conditions, following the parliamentary agreement to freeze their salaries for a further two years.

Value-added tax increase will cost households €15 a month
The decision to increase value-added tax (btw) from 19% to 21% will cost Dutch households some €15 a month, rising to €27.50 a month in 2013, according to economists with financial services group ING.

Controversial bird flu virus will be published in Science after all
The Dutch government has granted an export licence to allow publication of controversial research into a virulent form of the bird flu virus H5N1.

Friday 27 April 2012

Nedcar may be saved through deal with BMW
German car maker BMW is in talks on producing cars in the Mitsubishi plant in Born, Limburg from 2014, according to various media reports on Friday.

Queen's Day honours go to 3,429 people
A total of 3,429 people have been awarded honours in the traditional honours list published on the eve of Koninginnedag (Queen's Day).

Van Haersma Buma joins contest for CDA leadership
Sybrand van Haersma Buma, who currently leads the Christian Democratic parliamentary party and had a pivotal role in working out the five-party agreed austerity package, has come forward as a candidate to lead the CDA’s general election campaign.

Jailed for 10 years, the father who got 11-year-old daughter pregnant
A man who sexually abused his 11-year-old daughter who ended up pregnant was jailed for 10 years by a court in Groningen on Friday.

Court rules against cannabis cafes: green light for 'wietpas'
The government’s decision to restrict the use of cannabis cafes to local residents by excluding tourists is not discriminatory, a court in The Hague said on Friday.

Queen's Day weather: it's looking good
The latest weather forecasts for the Queen's Day celebrations on Monday say it is likely to be dry and warm, with temperatures up to 20 Celsius inland.

Budget deal reached, but with elections looming, for how long?
The general election will take place on September 12. Then, just six days later, the 2013 budget - drawn up on Thursday by the outgoing government and its allies - will formally be presented to parliament. How does this add up?

Housing corporation Vestia to sell 15,000 homes
Financially-troubled housing corporation Vestia is to sell 15,000 homes in an effort to cancel out its debts, the organisation said in a letter to home affairs minister Liesbeth Spies.

Rabobank to sell asset manager Robeco, says FD
Rabobank is to sell its asset manager Robeco in order to boost its own balance sheet, the Financieele Dagblad said on Friday, quoting company sources.

C1000 supermarkets to become Jumbos
Supermarket group Jumbo is to convert some 300 C1000 stores to its Jumbo format and sell a further 136 outlets to Albert Heijn and the Coop, the family-owned firm said on Friday.

Deposits on plastic bottles will not be scrapped
Plans by the drinks industry and cabinet to scrap the deposit system on plastic bottles were voted down by MPs on Thursday evening.

Thursday 26 April 2012

Crisis averted? Five-party coalition agrees austerity package
After just two days of talks, agreement has been reached by a five-party coalition on how to slash the Dutch budget deficit to meet eurozone targets. The Netherlands must submit its austerity package to Brussels by April 30.

Higher taxes, earlier pension age increase, in budget plans (update)
An increase in value-added tax and higher healthcare costs are among the measures agreed by a five-party coalition on Thursday to reduce the Dutch budget deficit to 3%.

Deal reached on spending cuts, Brussels deficit limit in sight
After just two days of talks, agreement has been reached on how to slash the Dutch budget deficit to meet eurozone targets, according to media reports on Thursday afternoon.

Revenues rise for Randstad, Unilever and Shell
The first quarter figures of blue chip heavyweights Unilever, Shell and Randstad all showed an increase in revenue on Thursday.

Easy Life directors jailed for fraud
Four former directors of investment fund Easy Life have been jailed for between 4.5 and one year by a court in Den Bosch for swindling hundreds of people out of an estimated €42m.

Dutch children consume high levels of sugary drinks
Almost one in four Dutch children aged 10 to 12 are overweight and 6% are obese, according to a pan-European study by researchers at the VU teaching hospital.

The Netherlands criticised for high residency permit fees
The Netherlands charges non-EU nationals too much money for a residency permit, the European Court of Justice said on Thursday. The case was brought by the European Commission.

Row over teenager's poem overshadows Remembrance Day
A poem by a 15-year-old Dutch boy about his uncle who joined the SS will not be part of next week’s Remembrance Day commemorations following boycott threats from several organisations.

Students warned about masters degree quality
The quality of masters degrees at the Netherlands' universities and colleges varies enormously, especially in the liberal arts, according to independent higher education advice centre CHOI.

New speed limit plans unaffected by cabinet collapse
Plans to put up the speed limit on more of the Netherlands' motorways by September 1 will go ahead, despite the collapse of the government, the AD said on Thursday.

Philips pensioners want their money back
A group of Philips pensioners are considering legal action in an effort to get the electronics giant to repay nearly €1.3bn into the company's pension fund, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Thursday.

Cabinet collapse jeopardises tank sale
The sale of some 80 unwanted Leopard tanks to Indonesia has been put in jeopardy by the collapse of the cabinet, the Telegraaf reports on Friday.

CDA acting-leader Maxime Verhagen to quit parliament at election
Maxime Verhagen, a minister and MP for the Christian Democrats since 1994, will leave parliament at the next general election, he told a television talk show on Wednesday.

Finance minister says budget cut talks so far are 'constructive'
Talks on an emergency package of spending cuts will continue between finance minister Jan Kees de Jager and three other parties on Thursday, after the minister reported good progress is being made.

Missed red light probably caused Utrecht train near-miss
Rail safety experts are investigating a near accident between two trains close to Utrecht station on Wednesday after a commuter train appeared to miss a red light.

Wednesday 25 April 2012

New coalition emerges as talks begin on cutting Dutch deficit
Three political parties have begun joint talks with finance minister Jan Kees de Jager on cutting government spending by up to €14bn, various newspapers report on Wednesday afternoon.

Football fan Doutzen Kroes appeals for cash to help Veendam
Top Dutch model Doutzen Kroes has appealed to her 220,000 Twitter followers to donate money to ailing Dutch football club SC Veendam.

Security guard throws out 12-metre long art work
A security official at Radboud University in Nijmegen has thrown away a 12-metre long drawing which had been hung on the wall of a lecture theatre complex because he did not recognise it as art, news website nu.nl reports on Wednesday.

Debate on polder flood plan postponed after cabinet collapse
A debate in parliament on controversial plans to flood part of a polder in Zeeland to create 'new nature' has been postponed - the first item of government policy to be put on hold following the collapse of the cabinet.

The Netherlands will not support EU budget increase plan: minister
The Netherlands will not vote in favour of a proposal to increase the European Union's budget next year by almost 7%, finance minister Jan Kees de Jager is quoted as saying by news agency ANP.

Almost 6% of Dutch couples are mixed nationality
Around six in a hundred couples living in the Netherlands are made up of one Dutch national with a foreign partner, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS.

C&A, Primark suppliers use child labour: report
Four large Indian textile firms which make clothing for Dutch department store C&A and the Primark chain among others are still using child labour, according to Dutch multinational research institute Somo in Wednesday's Volkskrant.

PostNL executives to get no bonuses this year
Members of the executive board at postal delivery firm PostNL will not get a bonus this year, new CEO Herna Verhagen is quoted as saying by the Financieele Dagblad.

The hype starts here: Ukraine protests at energy firm football advert
The Ukrainian authorities are angry at a Dutch energy firm advert which focuses on the forthcoming European football championships, according to Dutch media reports on Wednesday.

Hero Brinkman to go it alone at general election
Hero Brinkman, a former MP for the anti-immigration PVV, is to contest the next general election with his own party - the OBP, or independent citizens' party.

Postcode lottery stops bike giveaway scheme
The postcode lottery organisers have stopped giving away large numbers of bikes to lottery winners after complaints from cycle shop owners who said their trade was being hurt.

Complaints about care of elderly dominate union hotline
Over 1,000 people registered complaints to a special union hotline set up to record problems experienced by people working in the care services.

More drunken teens are hospitalised
The number of youngsters hospitalised because they had drunk so much alcohol they passed out rose 12% last year to 762, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.

Prime minister calls for unity, MPs are divided on budget plans
Despite Dutch MPs' support for crisis measures to bail out the economy, it will be difficult to reach majority support for serious spending cuts and tax increases ahead of the general election on September 12, commentators said on Wednesday.

Political crisis: Who will lead the Christian Demcrats
Twenty months after Jan Peter Balkenende stood down as CDA leader following the party's disastrous showing in the June 2010 general election, the party is still without a front man or woman.

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Eight still in hospital after Amsterdam train crash
Eight of the people injured when a commuter train collided with an intercity train in Amsterdam on Sunday are still in hospital, officials said on Tuesday.

Local councils unhappy about new metropolitan area plans
Several local councils are voicing their concerns about plans to merge Rotterdam and The Hague into one new metropolitan region, reports the Volkskrant.

Political crisis: we all have to work together, says prime minister
Prime minister Mark Rutte made an appeal to parliament on Tuesday to work together to help the Netherlands through the economic crisis, ahead of the general election.

Warm weather forecast for a busy weekend
The start of the spring holiday at the weekend and Queen's Day next Monday are forecast to be warm, with temperatures reaching 25º in some parts of the country. However, there are likely to be thunderstorms, weather forecasters said.

Amsterdam metro is unsafe and should be closed: report
The Amsterdam metro between central and Amstel stations is unsafe and will remain so until the tunnel and stations are renovated, city council engineers said on Tuesday.

Shell agrees to buy Cove Energy
Royal Dutch Shell announced on Tuesday it is to buy London-listed Cove Energy for £1.1bn.

Muslims are discriminated against in Holland: Amnesty International
Muslims face discrimination in the Netherlands and other European countries which breaches their human rights, according to a new report by Amnesty International.

KPN to speed up job cuts after earnings fall
Telecom company KPN said on Tuesday it will speed up its ongoing reorganisation after first quarter net profit and turnover both declined.

Dutch institute helps Microsoft in fight against child abuse
The Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) is working with the American software company Microsoft to develop a fully automatic computer system that will trace child pornography.

Moody's warns the Netherlands on it credit rating
The fall of the government and the failure to agree an austerity programme can have a negative affect on the Netherlands' credit rating, credit ratings agency Moody's said on Tuesday morning.

Police cars fitted with a black box
Police cars are to be fitted with black boxes in the hope officers will drive better and cause fewer accidents.

Train crash driver may avoid prosecution: signal safety out of date
The driver of the commuter train that collided with an intercity train in Amsterdam on Saturday may not be prosecuted, the Telegraaf reports on Tuesday.

Political crisis: dispute over election date continues, parliament meets
Parliament will meet on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the collapse of the cabinet and the government's finances amid continued uncertainty about the date of the next election.

Political crisis: welfare reforms, dual nationality plans in doubt
The future of welfare benefit reforms, cuts in special eduction, limits to dual nationality and other controversial legislation is now open to question following the collapse of the government.

Police hand out fewer traffic fines
The police handed out 2.2 million traffic fines in the first three months of 2012, down 200,000 on a year ago, according to justice ministry figures.

Dutch out of favour in corporate reporting
Dutch stock exchange listed companies are increasingly publishing their annual reports in English only, according to research by financial PR bureau Citigate.

Monday 23 April 2012

Election on June 27 would be 'very unusual', says electoral council
The electoral council told the Volkskrant on Monday afternoon it considers September 5 to be the first realistic date for the general election. A majority of MPs say the vote should be held on June 27.

Political crisis: Elections loom as prime minister visits the queen
Prime minister Mark Rutte tendered his resignation to queen Beatrix on Monday afternoon, following the collapse of talks aimed at restoring order to the government's finances.

Photos of Rotterdam robbers to be displayed on big screens
Rotterdam police, justice officials and city council are to use advertising hoardings to display photographs of wanted armed robbers, the Telegraaf reports on Monday.

Body of baby found in rubbish bag
The body of a baby found near the Brabant village of Liempde on Sunday morning was in a plastic rubbish bag, police said on Monday. The bag was found on the banks of the river Dommel under a viaduct crossing the A2 motorway.

'Peru agrees to extradite Joran van der Sloot to US'
Peru has agreed to extradite Joran van der Sloot to the US in connection with the blackmailing of the mother of Natalee Holloway, according to local media quoted by news agency ANP.

Prime minister to tender resignation to the queen: media reports
Prime minister Mark Rutte will this afternoon tender his resignation to queen Beatrix following the collapse of talks aimed at restoring order to the government's finances.

Ministers meet to discuss 'what next' after austerity talks collapse
A full meeting of the cabinet is taking place in The Hague on Monday morning to discuss what to do next following the collapse of austerity talks with the anti-immigration PVV.

' Darkroom of Damocles' is latest library book giveaway
Willem Frederik Hermans' classic De donkere kamer van Damockles (The The Darkroom of Damocles), is to be the latest book to be distributed free by Dutch libraries as part of the Nederland Leest (The Netherlands Reads) project.

Philips first quarter earnings better than expected
Electronics giant Philips booked better than expected results in the first three months of this year, helped by a number of one-offs.

Robin van Persie named player of the year in English league
Arsenal's Dutch striker Robin van Persie has been named player of the year by the English professional footballers' association.

Ajax closes in on title, four clubs fight it out for second place
Amsterdam football club Ajax came a step closer to clinching the premier division title at the weekend with a 2-0 win over FC Groningen.

Train driver says she 'may have missed red light', (update)
The driver of a commuter train which collided with an intercity train in Amsterdam on Saturday, killing one woman, told eyewitnesses she may have missed a red light, according to media reports on Monday.

Sunday 22 April 2012

The election will be about Europe and the euro, says Wilders
The forthcoming election campaign will be about Europe and the euro, PVV leader Geert Wilders said at the weekend, following his decision to pull out of austerity talks to reduce the budget deficit below the eurozone 3% limit.

Ministers, opposition to talk budgets as Brussels deadline looms
The collapse of austerity talks between the minority government and anti-immigration PVV make it unlikely the Netherlands will meet the April 30 deadline to come up with a package of at least €15bn in spending cuts, commentators said on Sunday.

Train crash victim dies, as rail services return to normal (update)
A 68-year-old woman has died from injuries sustained in Saturday's crash between two trains close to Amsterdam's central station, city council officials said on Sunday afternoon.

Police unions meet on Monday to revive pay claim
Police unions will meet on Monday to discuss reviving their claim for a 3% pay rise, news agency ANP reports.

Train services remain disrupted after Amsterdam crash
Train services remain disrupted to the west of Amsterdam on Sunday following Saturday afternoon's crash in which at least 120 people were injured.

Saturday 21 April 2012

Amsterdam train crash: at least 125 injured, 13 seriously
At least 125 people have been injured, 13 very seriously, in a head-on collision between two trains close to Amsterdam's central station.

The alliance with the PVV is over. What happens next?
The break-down of talks on cutting government spending following Geert Wilders’ decision to pull out means new elections are now on the cards.

Economists fear impact of austerity talks collapse
Economists say the collapse of talks aimed at getting the Dutch economy back on track will impact on the financial markets and could lead to the Netherlands losing its Triple A status, news agency ANP reports.

Trains collide in central Amsterdam, 48 injured, no services to Schiphol
Some 48 people were injured in a collision between two trains near Amsterdam’s Sloterdijk station early on Saturday evening.

What had been agreed? State pension at 66 in 2015, VAT to 21%
The minority cabinet and anti-immigration PVV had agreed on a large number of measures to cut the budget deficit when the talks collapsed on Saturday.

Austerity talks collapse as Wilders walks out, election now likely
Austerity talks between the minority coalition and anti-immigration PVV collapsed on Saturday afternoon, when PVV leader Geert Wilders walked out. New elections are now on the cards, prime minister Mark Rutte told reporters.

Wilders' new book: not yet officially out but everyone has seen it
A new book by Geert Wilders aimed at the American market is not due to be officially launched until May 1, but details gleaned from advance and review copies are already doing the rounds.

Local council civil servants agree 2% pay rise over two years
The country's 180,000 local authority civil servants will get a 2% pay rise over the next two years, with a one off-bonus in August, unions and employers have finally agreed.

Brussels says 'yes but' to Hedwige polder flood plan
The European Commission has agreed to revised plans to flood part of a polder in Zeeland province to compensate for nature lost when the Westerschelde estuary is deepened.

Austerity talks resume on Saturday
Austerity talks between the minority government and alliance partner PVV are set to continue on Saturday, now the first financial projections have been completed.

Friday 20 April 2012

Schiphol is Europe's best airport
Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport is the best in Europe, according to a passenger satisfaction review carried out by airline and airport benchmarking website Skytrax.

Limburg coalition collapses over PVV insult to queen, Turkish president
A row over the visit to Limburg by Turkish president Abdullah Gül led to the collapse of the province's PVV/VVD/CDA ruling alliance on Friday. Limburg was the only place in the country where the anti-immigration party is part of a governing coalition.

More can't meet mortgage payments, house prices drop again
Some 65,000 households currently find it difficult to meet their mortgage payments, double the figure of four years ago, according to debt registration agency BKR on Friday.

Alexander Rinnooy Kan to chair central bank supervisory board
Alexander Rinnooy Kan has been named new chairman of the Dutch central bank's supervisory board from July 1. Rinnooy Kan is currently chairman of the government's SER advisory committee but is leaving that post in September.

Compulsory retirement for pilots not age discrimination: court
Airline KLM is not guilty of age discrimination for forcing pilots to retire between the ages of 56 and 60, a senior adviser to the High Court said on Friday.

Jossef, nine, can probably stay in the Netherlands
A nine-year-old Eritrean boy from Alkmaar is likely to be allowed to stay in the Netherlands now his mother has been given a residency permit, news agency ANP reports.

Satnav maker TomTom considers delisting, magazine says
Satellite navigation system maker TomTom is considering delisting from the Amsterdam stock exchange, business magazine Management Team said on Friday.

Dutch World Service chief may get €1m pay-off
Culture minister Marja van Bijsterveldt will look ‘very critically’ at the rumoured €1m pay-off for the head of the Dutch world service broadcaster RNW who is leaving as part of a major cost-cutting exercise.

Addiction guru guilty of sexual abuse, jailed for five years
Addiction guru Keith Bakker has been jailed for five years for sexually abusing a number of clients by a court in Amsterdam. The guilty verdicts included three counts of rape, including one of a 15-year-old girl, website nu.nl said.

Trading house Optiver fined $14m for manipulating oil markets
Dutch trading house Optiver has been fined $14m by the US financial services watchdog CFTC for manipulating crude oil prices.

PostNL chief executive quits with immediate effect
The chief executive of postal delivery firm PostNL resigned on Thursday with immediate effect because of a disagreement with the supervisory board, the company said in a statement.

Support for PVV drops again in new poll
Support for Geert Wilders' anti-immgration PVV fell again in the latest Ipsos Synovate opinion poll. The poll puts the PVV on 18 seats, two down on its total two weeks ago and six below its general election result.

EU wants an end to letterbox firms, plan could cost Holland €1.5bn
Measures to reduce tax evasion backed by the European parliament on Thursday could lead to the closure of 20,000 letterbox companies in the Netherlands, costing the treasury €1.5bn, the AD reports on Friday.

New online medical records scandal, this time 300,000 are affected
A leak in internet security has enabled a television reporter to gain access to the medical records of 300,000 people held on a computer system for company doctors.

Wilders, Brussels still hold back Zeeland polder flood plan
There were two new twists in a seven year battle over flooding a piece of land on the Westerschelde estuary in Zeeland on Thursday, when a debate in parliament was halted because of confusion over the EU’s position.

Thursday 19 April 2012

Princess Mabel may have worked for security service, claims book
Princess Mabel may have been an agent or informant for the Dutch national security service BVD, according to the memoirs of a former BVD employer, quoted by HP/De Tijd.

Sensitive medical information hidden behind simple password
Confidential medical records belonging to thousands of people in Brabant were easily accessible on a website for medical professionals, local broadcaster Omroep Brabant reports.

Seven year battle over flooding land in Zeeland nears conclusion
A seven year battle over flooding a piece of land on the Westerschelde estuary in Zeeland came a step nearer concluding on Thursday, according to media reports.

Pension cuts seem more likely
It is becoming increasingly likely that a number of pension funds will have to cut pay-outs next year because first quarter figures show many fund assets are still below the legal limit.

Rent increase for high earners on back burner
Government plans to allow landlords to increase the rent paid by high earners who live in social housing will not now be introduced on July 1, home affairs minister Liesbeth Spies told parliament on Thursday.

Unemployment rises slightly, youth jobless total up sharply
The number of people without work rose slightly in March to 465,000, taking the jobless figure to 5.9%, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.

At least 20 birds of prey nests destroyed in Friesland
Vandals have destroyed the nests of at least 20 birds of prey in Friesland so far this spring, Nos television reports.

Noord-Brabant, Utrecht, Flevoland showed strongest growth
The regional economy in Noord-Brabant, Utrecht and Flevoland provinces grew fastest last year - all booking 2% growth, according to national statistics office CBS.

Subsidies fail to create top ranking artists
Government and other subsidies do not help visual artists to make an international break-through, according to researchers in economics magazine ESB, quoted in the Volkskrant.

Paint maker Akzo Nobel books higher Q1 sales, lower profit
Akzo Nobel booked a slight increase in sales in the first quarter of 2012 as the paints and coatings manufacturer passed on higher raw material prices to customers.

Minister opposes extra tax on banking bonuses
MPs and junior finance minister Frans Weeker are at odds over calls for a tougher tax regime for excessive bonuses for bank executives, Trouw reports on Thursday.

Most women undergoing fertility treatment have 'lifestyle problems'
Nearly all of a sample of around 100 women who attended a special clinic before undergoing a course of IVF treatment to try to have a baby had three or more lifestyle problems and risk factors, according to Dutch research published in the May issue of the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Zeeland agrees to revised polder flooding plan, but at what cost?
The Zeeland provincial council has agreed to revised plans to flood part of the Hedwige polder in a bid to settle the argument once and for all, according to media reports on Thursday.

Dutch bird flu virologist is on Time list of 100 most influential
The Dutch virologist at the centre of the row over a mutant bird flu virus is included in the latest Time Magazine ranking of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Rating agency Fitch doubts Dutch AAA status amid property slump
International credit rating agency Fitch has issued 'its clearest warning yet' that the Netherlands faces losing its Triple A credit rating, Britain's Telegraph newspaper reports on Thursday.

D66 Liberals breathe new life into elected mayor campaign
The Liberal democrats (D66) are relaunching their campaign to stop mayors being technically appointed by the queen and bring in direct elections.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Coffee shop owners go to court over members' only coffee shops
Lawyers representing several Dutch cannabis cafes went to court on Wednesday in a bid to challenge government plans to turn them into members' only clubs and ban non-Dutch residents.

PVV provincial councillor quits over 'embarrassing' policies
A member of Drenthe's provincial council for the anti-immigration PVV has resigned because he is 'embarrassed' about the party's national policies, Nos television reported on Wednesday.

Queen Beatrix to visit Turkey in June
Queen Beatrix is to visit Turkey between June 13 and June 15 as part of the celebrations of 400 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the state information service RVD said on Wednesday.

ABN Amro refuses to restructure Greek railway and metro debt
Nationalised Dutch bank ABN Amro is refusing to restructure the €1.3bn in debt it is owed by the Greek national railway company and Athens metro, a spokesman confirmed on Wednesday.

Heineken boosts revenue but not in Europe
Brewing group Heineken said on Wednesday it had booked organic revenue growth of 6.8% over the first three months of this year. Net profit for the first quarter was €175m,

Dutch F-16s drop bombs in Afghanistan
Two Dutch F-16 fighter jets dropped several bombs in the eastern Afghan province of Badghis last Friday in an effort to help American soldiers who had come under fire from rebels.

Austerity talks: it's now down to financial matters
The three parties currently involved in talks on cutting spending by at least €9bn have sent their initial calculations to independent economists for their assessment, the Volkskrant said on Wednesday.

'Turkey is a stable factor in turbulent area,' says queen
Turkey is a stable factor in a turbulent area where existing powers and relations are being challenged on all sides,' queen Beatrix said in a speech on Tuesday evening.

KPN drops 50% discount for 100% Dutch following criticism
Telecoms company KPN has dropped a new promotional offer giving a 50% discount to 100% Dutch nationals following complaints from several French people who were told in a KPN shop they could not take advantage of the scheme, according to media reports.

Councils fear family income checks will lead to fake relocations
Local councils are concerned the switch to a household income check when determining welfare payments will lead to adult children moving to another address on paper so their parents' benefits do not get stopped.

Business unhappy with cabinet and employer organisations
Dutch businessmen and women do not feel the current government or their own employer organisations properly represent them, according to TNS-Nipo research for the Financieele Dagblad.

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Turkish president meets queen, lays wreath on first day of visit
Turkey's prime minister Abdullah Gul officially began his three-day visit to the Netherlands on Tuesday with a welcome by queen Beatrix at the palace on Dam square in Amsterdam.

Banking sector books slight loss
Dutch banks suffered a slight loss in profits in 2011, after showing signs of growth in 2010 following the previous financial crisis in 2008, the Dutch central bank announced on Tuesday.

Prime minister, Christian leader disagree on austerity talks contact
Prime minister Mark Rutte on Tuesday denied claims he had been sounding out the leader of the fundamentalist Christian SGP about the ongoing austerity talks to slash spending by at least €9bn.

Two more arrests in internet drug ring case - Update
Two more Dutch people have been arrested in connection with the internet drug ring case, although the authorities have not identified them, Nos reports.

A daily shower and walk outside is a right for care home patients'
People living in care homes will have the right to a daily shower and to go outside on a daily basis, junior health minister Marlies Veldhuijzen van Zanten told MPs in a briefing on Tuesday.

Terror suspect loses extradition appeal
Dutch-Pakistani terror suspect Sabir K on Tuesday lost his appeal against extradition to the US. He is wanted there in connection with conspiracy to attack US military personnel in Afghanistan.

CDA to update members on austerity plans at regional meetings
Christian Democrat MPs plan to hold a string of meetings for members to discuss any agreement on slashing upwards of €9bn from government spending, the NRC reports on Tuesday afternoon.

Deutsche Telekom may sell Dutch T-Mobile operations
German phone operator Deutsche Telekom may be looking to sell its Dutch T-Mobile operations, Reuters reports on Tuesday, quoting the Financial Times' German edition.

Dutchman arrested on suspicion of leading internet drug ring
Police have arrested a 42-year-old man from Lelystad on suspicion of leading an international crime gang which sells drugs on the internet.

Next FNV union chief to have more powers: FD
The next chairman of the new look FNV trade union federation will have more powers and support, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Tuesday.

Dutch spend less on their armed forces
Dutch military spending fell in 2011, according to the latest figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) which were released on Tuesday.

Striking cleaners reach a deal with employers for better pay
Cleaners and employers reached agreement on new pay and conditions on Monday evening, following three and a half months of industrial action.

Don't cut development aid, archbishop Desmond Tutu urges Holland
If the Netherlands does cut its international development aid budget, it will be a heavy blow, Desmond Tutu writes in a letter to Trouw on Tuesday.

Monday 16 April 2012

Turkish president kicks off three-day visit to the Netherlands
Turkey's president Abdullah Gül and his wife Hayrunissa arrived in the Netherlands on Monday for a three-day state visit to commemorate 400 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Six politicians, four journalists in top 10 Dutch Twitter users
Six politicians and four political journalists are on a list of the most influential users of the microblogging service Twitter in the Netherlands, drawn up by global public relations firm Burson-Marsteller and social media analysts Klout.

VVD drops support for scrapping blasphemy law, says D66
The Liberal VVD has dropped its support for new legislation which would remove the blasphemy law from the statute books, according to D66 parliamentarian Boris van der Ham.

Utrecht city centre is an 'at risk' area
The centre of Utrecht will officially become an 'at risk' area from next month, meaning the police can set up random stop and search operations, the city's mayor Aleid Wolfson has announced.

PostNL halts delivery revamp
Postal company PostNL has halted the revamp of its delivery operations following problems and complaints in Noord-Brabant and Utrecht, where the new system is being tried out, Nos television reports.

Concertgebouw concert hall share issue raises nearly €9m
Amsterdam's Concertgebouw concert hall raised €8,775,000 through its jubilee share issue, the organisation said on Monday evening.

Government to draw up official list of potential pets
Junior farm minister Henk Bleker has asked ministry officials to compile a list of animals which are suitable to be kept as pets, he said in a briefing to parliament on Monday.

Amsterdam daycare abuse trial: defence calls for 'not-guilty' verdict
Amsterdam child abuse suspect Robert Mikelsons should be found not guilty on almost all charges because the evidence against him was obtained unlawfully, Mikelsons' lawyer Tjalling van der Goot told the trial in Amsterdam on Monday.

Police officer who shot footballer will not face prosecution
A police officer who shot dead an amateur footballer out celebrating his team's league title win will not face prosecution, the public prosecution department said on Monday.

Camera surveillance has limited affect on crime: police research
The installation of camera surveillance has little effect on preventing crime and vandalism, according to research by the police training institute Politieacademie.

Many farmers have other sources of income
More than half of Holland's farmers have an alternative source of income, the national statistics office CBS said on Monday.

Public prosecutors want €9.4m from housing corporation CFO
Public prosecutors are hoping to claw back €9.4m from the financial chief at Rotterdam housing corporation Vestia who is suspected of fraud, the NRC reports on Monday.

House sales down 13% in March
The number of homes changing owner fell by 13% in March to just over 9,000 compared with the year-earlier period, the Dutch land registry service said on Monday.

Big companies sound alarm about poor PostNL services
A number of large companies are sounding the alarm about the poor delivery service offered by PostNL, particularly in Noord-Brabant and Utrecht provinces, the AD reports on Monday.

New defence ministry wind farm rules will hit development
The defence ministry is poised to extend the protection zone around eight military radar installations from 28 kilometres to 75, because of problems caused by wind turbines, Trouw reports on Monday.

Foreign investors may auction off Dutch property worth billions
Foreign investors may auction off Dutch offices worth billions of euros as they take their losses in a troubled market, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Monday.

Dutch royals buy Greek holiday house
Crown prince Willem-Alexander have bought a €4.5m holiday house on the Greek coast, the Volkskrant reported on Monday.

Distracted drivers cause more accidents
Hands-free phoning can be no safer than holding a mobile phone in your hand while driving, according to road safety research foundation SWOV.

Sunday 15 April 2012

Ajax stretches premier division lead, one point separates next five
Amsterdam football club Ajax stretched its premier division lead to six points on Sunday with a 3-1 win over relegation candidate De Graafschap.

Revised plan to flood Zeeland farmland faces rejection by MPs
The cabinet’s compromise deal to spare part of a polder in the south of the country from being flooded ran into trouble on Sunday when the second and third biggest parties in parliament said they would not support it.

Bankers to swear oath of integrity
Bankers and senior financial service staff will soon have to swear under oath that they will carry out their jobs with integrity, put their clients first and ensure confidence in the banking sector, finance minister Jan Kees de Jager said in a briefing to MPs.

Unilever to switch to chicken which has had 'a better life'
Anglo-Dutch food to detergents group Unilever is to phase out the use of intensively factory-farmed chicken, starting with its chicken hot dogs in the first quarter of next year.

Child refugee law unlikely to win parliamentary approval: Trouw
Draft legislation which would give refugee children the right to stay in the Netherlands if they have been in the country for at least eight years is unlikely to be accepted by parliament, Trouw reports.

Saturday 14 April 2012

Primary school teachers perform best: school inspectors
Some 86% of primary school teachers are up to the job but one in three teachers at pre-college secondary schools (havo) are failing, according to a report by the schools inspectorate due to be presented to education minister Marja van Bijsterveldt next week.

Vestia financial chief arrested for bribery, money laundering
The financial head of Rotterdam housing corporation Vestia has been arrested on suspicion of bribery and money laundering, the Telegraaf reported on Saturday.

FC Zwolle wins promotion to premier league next season
FC Zwolle is assured of a place in the premier league next football season after drawing against FC Eindhoven 0-0. This means Zwolle now has an eight-point lead over their nearest rival, Sparta Rotterdam with two matches left to play.

Friday 13 April 2012

'Job problems or a bad marriage? Pay for your own psychiatric help'
People who have psychiatric problems because of trouble at work, a bad marriage or the death of a loved one, should have to pay for their own therapy, the health insurance council says in a confidential report for the health ministry.

Srebrenica massacre families cannot sue United Nations
The families of men and boys who died in the Srebrenica massacre during the Yugoslavia civil war cannot take the United Nations to court for failing to protect them, the Dutch High Court ruled on Friday.

Dutch plastic surgeons support age limit on cosmetic surgery
Dutch plastic surgeons have given their support to health minister Edith Schippers in her call for an age limit on cosmetic surgery and for health warnings to be made by television make-over shows.

Diplomats leave 600 parking fines unpaid
Diplomats in The Hague failed to pay half the 1,200 parking tickets they were given last year, according to regional broadcaster Omroep West.

Amsterdam council should buy new Eye institute, says ING
ING is insisting Amsterdam city council honour its commitments and buy the new Eye film institute building on the banks of the IJ after the financial services group failed to find another buyer.

No loot for money transport raiders
The gang who blasted their way into the offices of a money transport company in Nieuwegein on Thursday morning by using explosives to blow off a door did not get away with any cash, according to media reports on Friday.

Tax office can't hand over income information to landlords: court
The tax office has been told to stop providing landlords with information about tenants’ incomes until the law to make this possible has been passed in parliament, website nu.nl reports.

Dutch trade surplus fell in February
The Dutch trade surplus fell to €2.9bn in February as growth in imports outstripped the increase in exports, the national statistics office CBS said on Friday.

Delft University scientists find elusive particle
Scientists at Delft University of Technology have succeeded in detecting a tiny particle which they say is on the 'border between matter and anti-matter' and could lead to the creation of quantum super computers.

More people out of work for more than a year
The number of people out of work for at least a year rose sharply over the past two years, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS.

Compulsory contraception urged for addicts, psychiatric patients
Serious drug addicts, psychiatric patients and people with severe mental handicaps could be made to use contraception to stop them abusing their children, the former head of the national safety council says in television show Zembla, which will be broadcast on Friday evening.

Patient aggression may boost cost of healthcare
Aggressive patients who demand doctors and dentists carry out treatment may be partly to blame for rising healthcare costs,

Reports of near deal on budget cuts are premature: Geert Wilders
Reports that negotiations to find new austerity measures totalling over €9bn are premature, PVV leader Geert Wilders said on Friday.

Thursday 12 April 2012

Constant reorganisations cost tax office millions in lost revenue
The treasury is missing out on billions of euros in lost tax income a year because constant reorganisations have left staff unable to do their jobs properly, according to trade union Abvakabo.

Council opposition mounts to ending deposits on plastic bottles
The Dutch local council association VNG said on Thursday its members will not agree to government and packaging industry plans to stop levying deposits on plastic bottles.

MPs say yes to extra rent increase for high earners
A majority of MPs on Thursday voted in favour of a new law which allows landlords to increase the rent of high earners in rent-controlled properties by an extra 5% above inflation.

DNA bank generates 100 matches a week
The national DNA data bank is currently generating some 100 matches a week, up from 67 a year ago, according to the organisation's annual report.

Asylum seeker kills himself to avoid deportation, leaves two children
A failed asylum seeker and father of two teenagers has killed himself rather than be deported back to Burundi, the AD reports on Thursday.

Youth organisations draw up their own budget cut proposals
Members of the youth wings of most major Dutch political parties have drawn up their own plan to solve the country's budget problems which they say will create 'broad social acceptance' while creating a strong, healthy economy.

Just 1,100 new homes are sold every month, price slide continues
The housing market crisis was further emphasised on Thursday by the publication of new figures showing just 1,100 new homes are being bought every month, compared with 4,000 before the economic crisis began.

Governments can't solve global problems alone, says aid minister
Governments should have a coordinating role in solving global problems and use aid budgets to 'leverage private capital for development', Dutch aid minister Ben Knapen told an international conference in The Hague on Wednesday.

Netherlands suspends aid to Suriname following amnesty law
The Netherlands plans to suspend all aid to its former colony of Suriname in protest at the amnesty for people suspected of killing 15 opponents of president Desi Bouterse, foreign minister Uri Rosenthal is quoted as saying on Wednesday.

Ajax stretches premier division lead, PSV loses to RKC
Amsterdam football club Ajax stretched its lead in the premier division to three points on Wednesday evening with a convincing 0-5 win over Heerenveen.

Roadblocks set up after raid on money transport company (update)
Roads were closed south of Nieuwegein for a time on Thursday morning following an armed raid on a money transport company in the town in the early hours.

Wednesday 11 April 2012

'Health inspectors knew of problems with PIP breast implants'
Health ministry inspectors knew there were problems with PIP breast implants before 2010 and surgeons had already reported high leakage rates, RTL news reported on Wednesday.

We had to react quickly during credit crisis: former minister
The government had too little time, not enough alternatives and not enough information when it took action to shore up Dutch banks during the 2008 credit crisis, former finance minister Wouter Bos told the Telegraaf on Wednesday.

Building permits slump to record low
Local councils granted just 55,800 building permits for new homes last year, down 9% on 2010 and the lowest total since 1953, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday.

Oranje slips to fourth place in Fifa football rankings
With just months to go before the European championships, the Dutch national football team has fallen from second to fourth place in the latest Fifa world rankings.

State-run job centres helped 271,400 people find work
The state-run UWV job centres helped 271,400 people find work last year, of whom 35,000 were considered long-term jobless, the organisation said in its 2011 annual report which was published on Wednesday.

Abercrombie & Fitch set for Amsterdam?
Real estate industry sources say there is a serious chance that American clothing group Abercrombie & Fitch may open its first store in the Netherlands by moving into the Metz & Co building on the Leidestraat shopping street, the Financieele Dagblad reports.

Wages continue to rise below inflation
Salaries rose an average 1.4% in the first three months of this year, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday.

Government made major mistakes in bailing out banks: report
The government made major mistakes in bailing out ABN Amro and ING and failing to keep parliament fully and promptly informed, according to a damning report from a parliamentary inquiry team into the 2008 credit crisis.

'One in seven doctors is aware of scientific fraud'
One in seven Dutch doctors is aware that data used in research has been faked and 22% say they know of cases where the outcome of research has been tweaked, according to a survey of 800 doctors by medical journal Medisch Contact.

Labour inspectors to focus on healthcare
Social affairs ministry inspectors are to look into efforts to reduce the pressure of work in hospitals and other care institutions because of high absenteeism rates and aggression against staff.

Dutchman shot in Israel will not face charges, says court
A Dutch national shot by Israeli police at the weekend after threatening to go on a killing spree will not face charges, a court in Tel Aviv said on Tuesday.

Credit crisis in spotlight as parliamentary inquiry reports on causes
A parliamentary inquiry team will today publish its report into the causes of the 2008 and 2009 credit crisis, which led to the nationalisation of ABN Amro bank.

Customs officers seize 50,000 litres of spirits from Britain
Customs officers have seized a record 50,000 litres of whisky, rum and vodka from a warehouse in The Hague which was due to be smuggled back into Britain, the AD reports on Wednesday.

Marijuana traces found in early bronze-age grave
Pollen thought to come from a marijuana plant has been found in a grave in Gelderland dating back 4200 years.

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Seven arrested as 575 kilos of cocaine is seized
Seven men and one woman have been arrested in the Netherlands in connection with a massive cocaine seizure in Antwerp, the public prosecution department said on Tuesday evening.

Labour publishes plans to restore economy, boost confidence
The Labour party on Tuesday evening published its plans to kick-start the Dutch economy and get the government’s finances back under control, based on the principle of 'collective prosperity above individual wealth'.

Evangelical broadcaster apologises for Jesus quiz
Evangelical public broadcaster EO has apologised for broadcasting a quiz on Easter Sunday night which was designed to test how much Dutch people know about Jesus.

Thousands of volunteers prop up police forces
Fourteen of the 25 Dutch police forces use members of the public as volunteers to carry out police tasks, RTL news reports.

Industrial production slows
Dutch industry generated 1.5% higher turnover in February compared with the year earlier period but was down compared with the 8% rise in January, the national statistics office CBS said on Tuesday.

Robbing older people is a trend: minister
The number of people over 55 years of age who are attacked during robberies has risen from 26 in the first quarter of 2011 to 34 in the same period of this year, justice minister Ivo Opstelten told parliament on Tuesday afternoon.

More people will accept an organ than are prepared to donate
Just over half the Dutch are prepared to donate their organs after death but 63% are prepared to accept someone else's organ should they need it, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS.

Justice minister restarts talks with police unions
Justice minister Ivo Opstelten said on Tuesday he is planning to meet police union representatives on Wednesday evening to discuss their demands for an improved pay deal and agreement on early retirement.

Budget talks enter sixth week, no end in sight
Austerity talks between the minority coalition and anti-immigration PVV entered their sixth week on Tuesday, and it is still unclear how much longer they will continue, Nos television says.

Handshake Muslim loses court case
Rotterdam council was right not to offer lawyer Mohammed Enait the job of client manager after he refused to shake hands with women, a court in The Hague said on Tuesday afternoon.

Brussels poised to accept compromise over polder flood plan
The European Commission is prepared to agree to a partial flooding of the Hedwige polder in Zeeland, ending a diplomatic row lasting several years, Dutch media report on Tuesday, quoting EU sources.

KPN drops plans to take over cable firm Caiway
Telecoms company KPN has abandoned its plans to take over cable firm Caiway because of objections from the competition authority NMa.

Johan Cruijff expected to leave Ajax board as last member
Johan Cruijff is expected to leave his post as supervisory board member at Ajax on Tuesday, bringing a long-running row at the club to an end.

Thousands of children may have been 'groomed' online
Tens of thousands of Dutch children may have been approached by paedophiles via internet chat sites, according to research by magazine J/M for NCRV television.

Companies too reliant on banks, need other funding, says bank chief
Dutch companies are too reliant on bank loans and need to be open to alternative sources of funding, says Boele Staal, chairman of the Dutch banking association NVB, in Tuesday's Financieele Dagblad.

Tv archives are a gold mine, says broadcaster
Dutch broadcasting companies can earn a lot of money by putting items from their archives onto websites, Avro sales manager Tom Steenbergen told the Volkskrant on Tuesday.

Belgians find Máxima photogenic but artificial
Princess Máxima is the most photogenic of the European princesses, according to a poll conducted by the Belgian tv programme Royalty.

Early dementia set to rise sharply in the Netherlands
The Netherlands will be hit by 'explosive growth' in people with early dementia caused by their unhealthy lifestyles, according to Dutch university professors in Tuesday's Volkskrant.

Vodafone network still not back to normal
The problems with the Vodafone network are still not completely over, the company said on Tuesday.

'Police plan to strike during big pop festivals, sporting events'
The police are planning to continue their campaign for a 3% pay rise and agreement on early retirement by striking during major events including pop festivals, the AD reports on Tuesday.

Bailiffs want better protection for debtors
Debt collection agencies are to ask the government to introduce better protection for people with debts on Wednesday, with the publication of a new report.

Monday 09 April 2012

Dutchman shot by Israeli police after killing spree threat
A Dutch national has been shot by Israeli police after threatening to ‘go down to the street' and 'slaughter people’, according to Israeli media.

Boys arrested following fire in historic windmill
Two boys aged 12 and 14 have been arrested in connection with a fire that destroyed a windmill in the Frisian village of Burum.

81-year-old man dies following robbery at his home
An 81-year-old man from Capelle aan den IJssel has died following a robbery at his home, the Telegraaf reports on Monday.

Robin Haase climbs in tennis world rankings on Davis Cup win
Tennis player Robin Haase has climbed slightly in the world rankings and is now just outside the top 50 in 51st position following the Dutch team's whitewash of Romania in the Davis Cup this weekend.

Sunday 08 April 2012

PSV beat Heracles to win KNVB football cup
PSV Eindhoven beat Heracles Almelo 3-0 on Sunday to win the KNVB cup. It was PSV's first cup win since 2005.

Cannabis cafe pass system: official proof of residency needed
People in the south of the Netherlands who wish to continue buying soft drugs in their local cannabis café have to request official council papers to prove they officially live in the Netherlands, the Telegraaf reported on Sunday.

Labour recovery continues in new poll
The latest Maurice de Hond opinion poll shows the Labour party is continuing to recover support and is now four seats clear of the anti-immigration PVV.

Publicity-damaged white collar criminals get shorter sentences
People suspected of serious fraud and other white collar crimes are often given reduced sentences because of the media attention their cases generate, according to research by the NRC at the weekend.

Housing market problems push more into rental homes
Demand for rental homes is set to rise by 75,000 over the next eight years, rather than fall by 45,000 as earlier forecast, according to a government report.

Patient fees are reducing the demand for psychiatric help
The introduction of a fee for psychiatric care has led to a considerable drop in demand, news agency Novum reported at the weekend.

Friday 06 April 2012

Biggest councils cut workforce by over 6,000
The Netherlands' 16 biggest local authorities are cutting their combined workforces by over 6,100 in order to make essential savings, the NRC reports on Friday.

Wet and chilly Easter ahead
All three main weather bureaus in the Netherlands are forecasting cold and wet weather over the Easter weekend with strong winds on the coast on Monday.

'Rent-controlled housing should be more expensive'
Social housing sector rents need to be increased sharply to enable housing corporations to make up shortfalls in their budgets, the head of Amsterdam's housing corporation federation said in Friday's Parool.

AZ out of European football
A 4-0 home victory for Spanish side Valencia put AZ out of the Europa League on Thursday night.

Vodafone network problems continue over Easter weekend
Vodafone mobile phone users face disrupted services for several more days at least, as the company tries to solve problems stemming from a fire at its Rotterdam regional centre earlier this week.

VVD wins support, Labour is second biggest party in new poll
The latest two-weekly poll from Ipsos Synovate shows support for the VVD Liberals has risen slightly but the other two parties making up the coalition alliance, the CDA and PVV, are down.

Minister agrees to explain parliament's position on anti-Pole website
Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal told MPs on Thursday evening he would ensure his contacts abroad are aware parliament is opposed to the PVV's website to collect complaints about central and eastern Europeans.

Record numbers join food banks
Some 60,000 households now make use of the nationwide network of food banks and their numbers are growing by 10% a month, broadcaster Nos said on Friday.

Healthcare cuts dispute is holding up government spending talks
A dispute over spending cuts and higher fees for healthcare is holding up agreement on a package of measures to cut government budgets by €9bn next year, Trouw reports on Friday.

Tax office looks to skip provisional tax demands
The tax office is hoping to largely dispense with provisional tax demands so that people are told immediately how much extra tax they have to pay or will get back.

Dutch private investors look abroad
Dutch private investors currently hold less than half their investments in the Netherlands, according to a new report from ING.

Petrol takes biggest ever share of income
Motorists have never paid such a large share of their income for petrol, even during the 1970s oil crisis, the Financieele Dagblad said on Friday.

Thursday 05 April 2012

Second court ruling says Fortis did mislead investors
The management of financial services group Fortis failed to react properly to difficult market conditions and did not keep investors up-to-date when selling shares in 2007, Amsterdam’s company court said on Thursday.

One of Britain's most wanted is arrested in Amsterdam
One of Britain’s most wanted men has been arrested in a house in Amsterdam Zuid-Oost and will be sent back to Britain to serve a life sentence for a string of gangland killings.

Union in-fighting makes life difficult for the cabinet: minister
The in-fighting between the 18 unions who are members of the FNV trade unions federation will make it difficult for the government to reach the usual flexible agreements between unions and employers, social affairs minister Henk Kamp told nu.nl on Thursday.

Daycare abuse trial: chief suspect faces 20 years in jail
The man at the centre of a child sex abuse scandal in Amsterdam should be jailed for 20 years and then confined to a psychiatric prison for treatment, the public prosecution department said on Thursday.

Suriname amnesty law 'totally unacceptable', says prime minister
Suriname will 'certainly feel the consequences' of introducing a controversial new amnesty law, prime minister Mark Rutte told the press on Thursday afternoon.

Amsterdam is one of Europe's murder capitals, says Eurostat
Amsterdam is in fourth place in the 2007-2009 murder rate league table put together by European statistics agency Eurostat, news agency ANP reported on Thursday.

Contract cleaning unions bypass employers
Unions representing contract cleaners are to bypass the employers' organisation OSB and appeal directly to companies themselves in an effort to end the impasse over sick pay, negotiator Ron Meyer told news agency ANP on Thursday.

Inflation remains at 2.5%
Inflation stayed at 2.5% in March, the third month in a row, national statistics agency CBS announced on Thursday.

The Netherlands recalls ambassador from Suriname over amnesty law
Foreign affairs minister Uri Rosenthal on Thursday recalled the Dutch ambassador to its former colony of Suriname because of a controversial new amnesty law.

Rules for starting a new school should be modernised: education council
The rules for starting a new school should be overhauled and modernised in order to expand the type of education on offer in the Netherlands, the education council says in Thursday's Volkskrant.

Twente airport plans take flight
Overijssel provincial councillors on Wednesday night agreed to press ahead with plans to develop commercial air services at the former Twente airbase.

Healthcare costs have doubled in 12 years: research
Healthcare costs have doubled over the past 12 years because of inefficiencies in the system rather than the greying of the population, according to research institute Nyfer.

Frustrated football fans may get musical 'after-party'
Ajax football fans may be treated to a match 'after-party' complete with music and performers at the club's Arena stadium, if Amsterdam's mayor Eberhard van der Laan has his way.

First JSF rolls off production line
The first Dutch JSF jet fighter rolled off the production line on Wednesday at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas.

Children will not pay towards rent rises: minister
Any income earned by youngsters living at home will not be included in the new 5% rule for rent increases on social housing, home affairs minister Liesbeth Spies told parliament on Wednesday evening.

Talks on cleaning sector pay deal fail
Efforts to end months of strike action by workers in the contract cleaning sector failed on Wednesday night as the unions continued to press for a new sick pay agreement.

Shell in talks for oil drilling in China
Royal Dutch Shell is in talks with PetroChina and Hess Corp about drilling for shale oil in the Santanghu bay in north-west China, PetroChina announced on Thursday.

'Illegal' youngsters will get work experience in Amsterdam
Amsterdam city council agreed on Wednesday night to offer work experience placements to youngsters without residency permits, putting it on a collision course with social affairs minister Henk Kamp.

Police on strike over pay; stations temporarily closed
Police in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht are on a four-hour strike on Thursday, leading to the temporary closure of police stations.

Gasunie books large loss
State-owned gas firm Gasunie announced on Thursday that it booked a €600m loss in 2011 following a €1.3bn write-off.

Vodafone network problems continue
The problems for Vodafone mobile phone users, caused by a fire on Wednesday at its Rotterdam centre, could go on for a week according to one telecom expert, quoted by the Volkskrant.

Wednesday 04 April 2012

Vodafone clients demand answers over network problems
Big companies which use telecoms company Vodafone have been 'severely affected' by network problems caused by a fire at company offices in Rotterdam, Nos television reports.

No alcohol in Rhenen during Queen's Day royal visit
People celebrating this year's Queen's Day in Rhenen will be banned from drinking alcohol during the royal family's visit, the Telegraaf reports on Wednesday.

70% of Dutch households have a car
There were 7.7 million cars in the Netherlands on January 1, 2011, of which 6.9 million are either privately owned or rented through a lease company, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday.

One in three single mums want to work more
Three out of 10 single mothers would like to work longer hours than they currently do but say they are hampered by childcare problems, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday.

Budget cut talks to last two more weeks at least
Talks between the minority government and anti-immigration PVV are set to continue for a further two weeks at least, the Volkskrant said on Wednesday quoting sources close to the negotiations.

Dutch semi-conductor maker NXP sues Blackberry
Semi-conductor maker NXP is suing BlackBerry phone maker RIM for infringing six of its patents, the Dutch company said on Tuesday.

Dutch newspapers discuss setting up a Spotify for new articles
A number of Dutch newspapers, including the Volkskrant, NRC and Financieele Dagblad, are in talks on setting up a digital platform to sell individual newspaper articles, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.

Heineken, not Martini: Dutch brewer stirs up James Bond
Dutch brewing group Heineken is planning a major push in the US this year - using Martini-drinking British secret service agent James Bond, according to advertising industry magazine Adage.

Court cost increases scuppered by solo SGP senator
The government's controversial plan to put up the cost of going to court by hundreds of euros appear to have been halted by the upper house of parliament, where the sole senator for the fundamentalist Christian SGP says he will vote no.

Olympic plans can continue
MPs have rejected calls for funding research into the Netherlands hosting the Olympic Games in 2028 to be stopped.

Immigration minister under pressure, Wilders wants him out (update)
Opposition MPs have demanded prime minister Mark Rutte explain rumours that Geert Wilders has tried to have immigration minister Gerd Leers sacked.

Tuesday 03 April 2012

Arrests in Brabant, Sweden in fraud investigation
Eight people have been arrested following raids on homes in Den Bosch and Rosmalen in connection with a major fraud inquiry, public broadcaster Omroep Brabant said on Tuesday. The eight are suspected of money laundering and forgery.

Unions hope to reach deal with employers, cabinet on savings
Members of the CNV and MHP trade union federations have invited the biggest union grouping, the FNV, to join them in talks on Tuesday night in an effort to kick start negotiations on economic reform.

Skin cancer cases increase faster than forecast
Last year some 40,000 people in the Netherlands were diagnosed with some form of skin cancer, meaning the number of cases is rising faster than expected, the KWF cancer research charity said on Tuesday.

Dutch school boy takes on top economists to solve euro crisis
An 11-year-old Dutch school boy has been awarded a €100 prize for his efforts in an international competition for top economists to prepare a contingency plan for a break-up of the eurozone.

Danes, Finns and Norwegians are happier than the Dutch
The Dutch are among the happiest people in the world, according to the latest World Happiness Report drawn up by American economists.

Accell in talks to take over British bike firm Raleigh
Dutch bike maker Accell is in exclusive talks to take over British bicycle company Raleigh, the Dutch firm said on Tuesday morning.

Trouble brews between mayors and minister over deportations
At least 40 mayors have made it clear to immigration minister Gerd Leers they will not cooperate with the deportation of illegal immigrants or failed asylum seekers if there is a risk to public order, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday.

Hi-tech, water and energy main beneficiaries of government cash
The high technology, water and energy sectors are the main beneficiaries of €2bn in government grants as part of the government's new innovation policy, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Tuesday.

Selexyz new owner works on relaunch
Investment company ProCures, which has bought the ailing book chain Selexyz, is working on a restart which would involve combining the Selexyz book shops with the De Slegte chain, the NRC reports.

Deformed lamb virus on 220 farms
The Schmallenberg virus, which causes deformities and still births in sheep and cattle, has been identified on 220 farms in the Netherlands, the farm ministry has confirmed.

Dutch company claims to have invented flying car
A Dutch company claims to have invented a flying car after carrying out test flights at an airbase in the Netherlands two weeks ago.

Monday 02 April 2012

Daycare abuse trial: victims demand damages totalling €1m
A lawyer representing 47 children involved in the Amsterdam daycare abuse case, is demanding total damages of over €1m for the victims, he told the court on Monday.

Microsoft moves European distribution to the Netherlands
Software giant Microsoft is moving its European distribution operations from Germany to the Netherlands 'because of a patent dispute', the Financieele Dagblad reports on Monday.

Dutch consumer confidence plummets below EU average
The Dutch consumer confidence index fell to -23.6 in March, compared with +8.1% a year ago and is now lower than the EU average, the national statistics office CBS said on Monday.

Rotterdam considers cutting workforce by 2,450
Rotterdam city council is considering cutting 2,450 jobs as part of a package of measures to reduce spending by €200m a year from 2015.

Rabobank to take over Friesland Bank
Non-listed cooperative bank Rabobank is to take over the Friesland Bank, the two financial services groups said on Monday.

University boss calls on academic publishers to allow open access
Scientific publishers are much to slow at making research accessible to everyone, Sijbolt Noorda, chairman of the Dutch universities' association VSNU, says in an interview with Monday's Financieele Dagblad.

Vocational training to be made more labour-market relevant
The education ministry is to reduce the number of places at vocational training colleges (mbo) for ‘popular courses where there is little work’, education minister Marja van Bijsterveld said in a briefing to MPs on Monday.

Foreign ministry worker arrested for spying for Russia
A 60-year-old civil servant at the foreign affairs ministry has been arrested on charges of selling government information, it emerged at the weekend.

German government helps Dutch national grid
The German government is taking action to help Dutch national grid operator Tennet finance vital investments in the German grid network, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Monday.

Investors take regulators, central bank to court over Easy Life
A group of people who put tens of thousands of euros into bankrupt investment fund Easy Life are taking the financial regulator AFM, the central bank and public prosecution department to court for negligence, Nos television reports on Monday.

Leeuwarden mayor angry about sea mine April 1 joke
Leeuwarden's mayor Ferd Crone told a news conference on Sunday he will do all he can to ensure the makers of a fake sea mine which was found floating in one of the city's canals on April 1 are tracked down.

Sunday 01 April 2012

Don't cut education and healthcare say voters in new poll
Voters would least like ministers to cut spending on education or to increase the own risk element in healthcare insurance in order to get the government finances back under control, according to a new poll by Maurice de Hond.

Mauritshuis museum to close for two years
The Mauritshuis museum in The Hague closed its doors on Sunday for a two-year refit. Some 100 of the museum's most important works of art will go on show at the city's Gemeentemuseum while the €22m renovations take place.

Traffic congestion lowest in six years
Good weather, improved infrastructure and the economic situation helped cut the traffic congestion by 30% in the first three months of this year, the ANWB motoring organisation said at the weekend.

One in three homes on Open House Day had no visitors
One in three of the 56,000 houses which were opened to potential buyers on Saturday had no viewers at all, the Telegraaf reported at the weekend.

Ajax moves into the premier league lead as AZ draws again
A 2-2 draw between AZ and Vitesse and a 6-0 win over Heracles Almelo propelled Amsterdam football club Ajax into the lead of the Dutch premier league this weekend.

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