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December 2012

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Monday 31 December 2012

The top news stories of 2012
What were the biggest news stories of 2012? We've put together a list of the top three most widely-read stories each month.

Amsterdam AEX index ends 2012 up nearly 10%
The Amsterdam stock exchange blue chip AEX index closed 2012 up 9.7% over the year, reaching its highest point since 2009.

All change: What’s new in the government rule book for 2013?
The start of a new year traditionally means a large number of new laws come into effect in the Netherlands. Here is a round-up of the main changes.

Plofkip is the new word of 2012 as well
Plofkip – literally exploding chicken – has been voted new word of the year by the readers of Onze Taal magazine.

Police ‘happy’ with wet and windy New Year forecast
The rain and strong winds forecast for New Year’s Eve will lead to fewer emergency service call-outs because people will spend less time outside, says police union ANPV in Monday’s NRC.

Housing corporations to cut back on maintenance, increase rents
Housing corporations are planning to cut back on renovations and home improvements over the next few years but rents will still go up, Nos television reports.

Councils not ready to supervise alcohol laws: hospitality industry
Food safety inspectors do not expect many problems with the transfer of alcohol controls to local councils, despite warnings by cafe and bar owners that councils are not properly prepared.

Firework complaints reach 50,000
The firework nuisance hotline set up by political party GroenLinks had received 50,000 complaints by Monday morning.

One million people to switch health insurance
More than one million people will have swapped health insurance company by the end of the six-week window for change on December 31, says comparison website ZorgKiezer.nl.

Ryanair says Dutch tv programme was 'factually incorrect'
Irish budget airline Ryanair has issued a press release denying claims made by a Dutch television show that pilots are pressured to fly with less fuel in order to save costs.

High water levels lead to New Year swim cancellations
Several of the traditional New Year’s Day swims have been cancelled because of high water levels in the rivers, news agency ANP said on Monday.

Sunday 30 December 2012

Two men die in 'wild west' shooting and car chase in Amsterdam
Two men were shot dead in Amsterdam on Saturday night in what the city’s mayor Eberhard van der Laan described as a ‘wild west’ situation.

Saturday 29 December 2012

Dutch ask Irish government for answers on safety standards at Ryanair
Junior transport minister Wilma Mansveld has asked the Irish government to clarify reports that airline Ryanair is ordering pilots to fly with as little fuel as possible, Nos television reported on Saturday.

Friday 28 December 2012

Welfare 'volunteers' to take over some home help jobs
Some home helps in Rotterdam are to be replaced by welfare benefit claimants doing ‘voluntary work’, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

Four more suspects to stay in jail over linesman death
Four of the eight people arrested in connection with the death of an amateur football linesman have been remanded in custody for a further month, news agency ANP said on Friday.

Dutch banks cut their homeland workforces by 5,000 this year
The big Dutch banks reduced their workforces in the Netherlands by some 5,000 jobs this year, the Financieele Dagblad said on Friday.

Agreement reached on raw food boy's schooling
Social services and the mother of a 15-year-old boy who only eats fruit, vegetables and nuts have reached agreement on the boy’s schooling.

Gorilla again outperforms Amsterdam blue chip index
Amsterdam’s stock exchange gorilla Jacko has again outperformed the blue chip AEX index, website BeursGorilla.nl said on Friday.

Dutch-German jobs initiative aims to ease cross-border labour shortage
A cross-border jobs initiative has been set up along the northern Dutch-German border in an effort to help German firms fill their vacancies, Nos television reports on Friday.

Record year for Rotterdam port, due to global oil markets
The amount of goods shipped through Rotterdam port reached a record 442 million tonnes this year, 1.7% up on 2011, the port authority said on Friday.

Firework sale starts
Fireworks officially go on sale to the public today, in the run up to the New Year celebrations.

Thursday 27 December 2012

Government gets tough on illegal wood
The maximum punishment for timber merchants caught with illegally-felled wood will go up to two years in jail or a fine of €79,000 from March, the economic affairs ministry said on Thursday.

One in five imported fireworks are 'too dangerous' to sell
Almost one in five fireworks imported into the Netherlands for sale to the general public failed to meet safety standards, according to a report by government inspectors.

Wet and windy New Year’s Eve ahead
This year’s New Year’s Eve celebrations will be overcast, wet and windy, according to Dutch weather bureaux.

Firework hotline set up by GroenLinks registers 19,000 complaints
An internet hotline set up by left-wing green party GroenLinks to register complaints about the use of fireworks had more than 19,000 reports by midday December 27.

Five police chiefs agree to pay cut
Five senior police officers have taken a voluntary pay cut to bring their salaries back in line with government rules on public sector salaries, justice minister Ivo Opstelten has told parliament.

Drunken Brit drives stolen car on Schiphol airport runway
A drunken British man was arrested on Tuesday after driving a stolen car on a Schiphol airport runway for a few minutes, news agency AFP reported.

New climate change plans to be published in the spring
Economic affairs minister Henk Kamp will brief parliament in the spring on his plans to reach the government’s climate targets, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Thursday.

Maarssen baker wins annual oliebollen test
Baker Willy Olink from Maarssen, south of Amsterdam, makes the Netherlands’ best oliebollen (Dutch donuts eaten at New Year), according to the annual AD survey.

New Basel rules may hit Dutch banks on mortgages: FD
Dutch banks are going to find it more difficult to finance the Dutch ‘mortgage mountain’ because of new supervisory rules, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Thursday.

Wilders to step up international anti-Islam campaign
PVV leader Geert Wilders is to step up his campaign against Islam in 2013, the parliamentarian told Nos television in an interview.

Finance minister says no change on tougher mortgage rules
Finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has rejected calls to be more flexible about new mortgage rules which come into effect on January 1.

Wednesday 26 December 2012

The Dutch are big users of social media and blogs
The Dutch are among the keenest users of social media networks in Europe, according to European statistics office Eurostat.

Spanish police seize 11 tonnes of hash destined for the Netherlands
Spanish police have seized 11 tonnes of hashish which was en route for the Netherlands and arrested 35 people in connection with the haul, the Telegraaf reports on Wednesday.

Monday 24 December 2012

Queen's speech leaks out early thanks to a computer slip
A government computer error led to queen Beatrix’ traditional Christmas speech being circulated on Monday, a day earlier than planned.

Water boards on high alert as heavy rain fills Dutch rivers
Days of heavy rain in Europe have led to high water levels in the Netherlands' rivers, putting water boards in the north and south on alert.

Central bank worker who stole €1.25m found guilty, but where is he?
A 43-year-old man has been sentenced to four years in jail in absentia for stealing €1.25m from the Dutch central bank in September 2008.

Family of youth shot dead accuse police of his murder
The family of the 17-year-old youth shot dead by police on Hollands Spoor railway station last month have formally accused the police of his murder.

Queen Beatrix' Christmas speech this year to focus on trust
The theme of queen Beatrix’ Christmas speech this year is ‘trust’, the state information service said on Monday.

It’s going to be a wet Christmas
December is set to be one of the wettest on record, weather forecasters said on Monday.

Police break up The Hague drugs gang, 31 people arrested
Police in The Hague have arrested 31 people in a long-running investigation into drugs in the region, news agency ANP reports on Monday.

Online brokers beat banks for investor service
Investors are happier with the service provided by online brokers than the big banks, according to research involving 8,000 people by Brokertarieven.nl.

2012 was a good year for museums
The re-opening of the Stedelijk modern art museum and the new Eye film museum in Amsterdam helped boost museum visitors by 1.5 million to 19.5 million this year.

Number of sexually exploited girls underestimated, says official report
The number of under-age girls forced into prostitution has been underestimated, according to a new independent report due out later on Monday, Nos television reports.

PSV lead premier division into the winter break - just
PSV Eindhoven leads the Dutch premier division into the winter break but just three points separate the top four clubs.

Saturday 22 December 2012

Dutch anger over pope's gay marriage condemnation
Dutch foreign affairs minister Frans Timmermans has criticised the pope for his recent statements on homosexuality, RTL news reported on Saturday.

Some 800 refugee children, plus family, will benefit from new amnesty
Some 800 refugee children and their families are likely to be able to take advantage of new asylum rules for children who have developed roots in the Netherlands, justice minister Fred Teeven has confirmed.

Police may use psychics in exceptional circumstances, says minister
Justice minister Ivo Opstelten wil not ban police from using psychics to try to solve crimes, the minister said in an answer to MPs' questions.

The Netherlands poised to get top European job, says Barroso
The Netherlands will soon hold a top job within the European Union, the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso told the Volkskrant on Saturday.

Friday 21 December 2012

Police inspector in murder suicide had more drugs and guns
The police chief who killed two other people and then himself in September had a large quantity of drugs at his home, the public prosecution department said on Friday.

Yellow card to be automatic for criticising football referee
Football players who criticise the referee during a game will immediately be given a yellow card, the Dutch football association said on Friday.

Two men jailed for investment fraud
Two men have been jailed by a court in Dordrecht for their role in the multi-million euro fraud based on the Future Life investment company.

Hidden extras still added to holiday and travel ticket prices
Travel companies are still publishing misleading prices for holidays and plane trips on their websites, the consumers' association Consumentenbond said on Friday.

Dutch dance music included in government's 'top sector' focus
MPs have agreed to include pop and dance music in the Netherlands’ top industrial sector focus, by officially adding it to the creative sector definition.

ICE to take over NYSE Euronext stock exchange group
American commodities and energy exchange ICE plans to take over the Amsterdam stock exchange - considered to be the world's first ever stock trading system.

The Netherlands drops plans to ban illegal downloading
There will be no official ban on the illegal downloading of films, software and music in the Netherlands, MPs decided on Thursday.

Steve Job's yacht seized in Amsterdam in Philippe Starck bill row
Lawyers for designer Philippe Starck have sequestered the super yacht built for Apple founder Steve Jobs while it lay in Amsterdam port, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Friday.

Ballast Nedam reaches out of court deal on bribery charges
Building company Ballast Nedam has reached a €5m out of court settlement with the public prosecution service to head off prosecution for bribery.

Thursday 20 December 2012

Mystery car in crime tv show appeal belonged to the police
A mystery car spotted near the site of a gangland killing and which the police appealed for information about belonged to the police themselves, website nu.nl reported on Thursday.

Another humpback whale spotted near the Dutch coast
A large humpback whale was on Thursday spotted swimming in the sea off the coast near Castricum by scientists with the Imares marine research institute.

Ajax draws Steaua Bucharest in Europa League knock-out round
Amsterdam football club Ajax will meet Romanian side Steaua in the first knock-out round of the Europa League.

Groningen province may create its own Wadden Sea island
Groningen provincial council is looking into creating an artificial island off the coast to protect the coastline, Nos television reported on Friday.

Aegon, Banco Santander agree insurance partnership
Aegon and Spain’s Banco Santander have agreed to set up two joint ventures with the Dutch insurance company paying €220m for a 51% stake in each.

Official Dutch unemployment rate hit 7% in November, a 17-year high
The official Dutch unemployment rate hit 7% in November and over half a million people are now without a job, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.

New austerity measures not yet needed, says CPB chief
Even though the budget deficit will remain above the eurozone target of 3%, the government should not now announce new austerity measures, the head of the CPB forecasting agency says in Thursday’s Financieele Dagblad.

Randstad slips behind other European regions for growth, R&D
Economic growth in the Netherlands’ Randstad region – the urban belt encompassing the four big cities – has fallen below that in 20 other European metropolitan areas, according to a new report by the TNO research institute.

Shareholders register will cut financial crime, says minister
The Netherlands is to get a central register listing shareholders in limited companies in order to help reduce financial crime, justice minister Ivo Opstelten has said in a briefing to parliament.

Teenager cannot be made to pay for Project X Hoorn party costs
A teenager who called for a Project X party in Hoorn, two days after the riots in Haren, cannot be forced to pay €30,000 in policing and other costs, the town council says after consulting legal experts.

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Dead skydiver may have committed suicide, say police
There are strong indications the skydiver found dead in a field a week after his jump may have committed suicide, police told news agency ANP on Wednesday evening.

Minister to look at setting up firework-free zones ahead of New Year
Parliament on Wednesday rejected calls to ban firework sales to the general public but justice minister Ivo Opstelten said he would talk to local councils about setting up 'firework-free zones'.

More cafes observe smoking ban, but it's still far from total
Some 57% of the Netherlands' bars and cafes now keep to the ban on smoking, compared with 51% in the spring, according to health ministry inspectors.

Ajax launches charity Christmas single
Amsterdam football club has launched a charity Christmas single featuring famous fans and players past and present.

Dutch sportsmen and women honoured
Gymnast Epke Zonderland was chosen as Dutch sportsman of the year for the third time, this time for his stunning performance at the Olympic Games in London where he won gold on the high bar.

Rotterdam researchers find out why Rudolph's nose is red
Santa Claus’ reindeer Rudolph has a red nose because of the way his body deals with cold temperatures, according to a team of researchers from Rotterdam’s Erasmus University and from Norway.

Dutch squad was 'not fit enough' during European football event
The Dutch national football team, which crashed out of this year’s European Championships without winning a single game, was ‘not fit enough’, according to a football association evaluation.

More bad news: CPB sees economy contracting 0.5% in 2013
The government’s macro-economic planning agency CPB expects the Dutch economy to contract by 0.5% next year, a similar forecast to last week's announcement by the central bank.

Unions, employers and ministers to meet for economy talks
Ministers, unions and employers are due to meet on Wednesday afternoon for the first time in over a year to discuss kick-starting the economy.

Dutch property company TCN goes bankrupt
Another large Dutch property company has gone bankrupt after the banks withdrew support, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.

Coalition deal is 'unbelievably exasperating', says Labour leader
The presentation of the new government’s strategy at the end of October did not make it clear enough what an ‘unbelievably exasperating’ agreement it actually is, Labour leader Diederik Samsom told a television talk show on Tuesday evening.

Military union says not enough soldiers can use Patriot system
The Netherlands does not have enough properly trained soldiers to accompany its Patriot anti-missile systems to Turkey next year, according to the AFMP military union.

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Humpback whale Johannes was Johanna, minister calls for protocol
The humpback whale which died after becoming stranded on a sandbank near the Wadden Sea island of Texel was a female, marine experts said on Tuesday.

One in seven real estate agents expects to go bankrupt
One in seven of the Netherlands' real estate agents expects to go bankrupt over the next two years, according to research by the NRC.

High Court reopens 1990s murder case, convictions may be mistake
The high court on Tuesday ordered the judicial review of a 19-year-old murder case because of concerns the six people found guilty of the crime are innocent.

Six out of 10 fire emergency call-outs are a false alarm
Last year the fire brigade was called out to deal with 66,000 emergencies which turned out to be a false alarm, according to figures from the national statistics office CBS.

Shopkeepers expect record spending this Christmas
Despite the economic crisis, shopkeepers in the Netherlands expect record sales this Christmas, according to retail group Detailhandel Nederland.

Sell your commercial property, housing minister tells corporations
Housing corporations which are in financial difficulty should sell their shops, office complexes and more expensive residential properties, raising a potential €14bn, housing minister Stef Blok says in an interview with Tuesday’s Volkskrant.

Judges criticise 'targets' and the erosion of Dutch legal system
Several hundred Dutch judges have signed a manifesto protesting at the ‘erosion’ of the Dutch legal system, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday.

Armed robberies drop by 30% due to special task force
The number of armed robberies in the Netherlands has fallen by 30% over the past three years, following the setting up of a special task force, Nos television reports.

Raw food diet boy must go to school, say social workers
Youth social workers have begun an emergency procedure to have a 15-year-old boy removed from his home because he is being home schooled.

Police have a say in their new uniform
Police officers are being asked for their thoughts on a new uniform which is due to hit the streets in 2014.

Project X-feest is the new word of 2012
Project X-feest has been voted word of the year in an online poll organised by the Van Dale dictionary group with 17% of the vote.

Junior finance minister under fire over contacts with corruption suspect
Junior finance minister Frans Weekers will today inform parliament about his links with a former Roermond city councillor who is under investigation for corruption.

Doctors withdraw legal threat against electronic patient records
Family doctors have withdrawn their legal action against the organisation responsible for introducing electronic patient records after it withdrew the requirement that doctors cooperate with the new system.

'Schiphol goose cull works'
The cull of wild geese around Schiphol airport has paid off and the number of instances of geese flying over runways has gone down by 90%, according to the organisation responsible for the cull.

Monday 17 December 2012

Fitch lowers KPN rating, stock slides after 4G auction
Telecom group KPN has been downgraded by ratings agency Fitch from BBB to BBB- following the former state-owned company's decision to spend €1.35bn on super-fast internet frequencies.

More Dutch jihadists, but their number is still minute: report
More people have travelled from the Netherlands to take part in jihadist fighting elsewhere in the world but their number is still 'small', according to a justice ministry briefing, quoted in the NRC.

Former MP Sharon Dijksma is new junior economic affairs minister
Sharon Dijksma, first elected to parliament when she was just 23, has been appointed junior economic affairs minister to replace Co Verdaas.

Mogadishu declared safe for asylum seekers, says minister
The security situation in the Somalian capital Mogadishu has improved so much, failed asylum seekers can be sent back without any danger, junior immigration minister Fred Teeven told parliament in a briefing on Monday.

PostNL expects to deliver 160 million Christmas cards
Postal delivery group PostNL said on Monday it expects to deliver some 160 million Christmas cards over the holiday period.

Crime prevention cost €774 per person last year
The Netherlands spent €13bn last year on combating crime and public nuisance, according to figures from the national statistics office CBS and quoted by RTL news.

KNVB urged to get tough on aggression in professional football
Far greater attention needs to be paid to tackling violence in professional football, and players, coaches and football commentators should change their behaviour, according to Labour and VVD MPs in the Telegraaf.

Texel mayor defends whale decision; healthy whales don't beach
Texel mayor Francine Giskes (D66) has described criticism of the treatment of the humpback whale which beached on a sandbank close to the Wadden Sea island as ‘throwing mud’.

Labour leader Diederik Samsom is politician of the year
Labour leader Diederik Samsom has been voted politician of the year by the Dutch parliamentary press for his role in restoring the PvdA’s fortunes.

Ethnic minority youngsters do face jobs discrimination: new report
Youngsters from an ethnic minority background with the same cv, accent and clothing as their white peers are far less likely to find a job through an employment agency, according to new research for the social affairs ministry.

KPN sells Spanish unit
Telecom group KPN has sold its Spanish subsidiary KPN Spain to Orange for an undisclosed sum.

Gasunie 2007 takeover in Germany criticised, board members quit
Three of the six supervisory board members at gas company Gasunie have resigned following a damning report over a takeover in Germany, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Monday.

Boskalis raises offer for maritime services group Dockwise
Dredging group Boskalis has slightly raised its bid for martine services provider Dockwise to €18 a share, the company said on Monday.

Sunday 16 December 2012

Stranded humpback whale is dead
The humpback whale which became stranded on a sandbank near the Wadden Sea island of Texel has died, marine life expert Lenie 't Hart said on Sunday morning.

Saturday 15 December 2012

British tourists arrested for disrupting flight to appear in court
Three of the 17 drunken British tourists arrested by military police after a flight to Amsterdam from the UK last week will appear in court on Tuesday, the public prosecution department said on Saturday.

Stranded whale survives euthanasia as second whale washes up
A 12-metre humpbacked whale stranded on a sandbank in the Wadden Sea has survived a euthanasia attempt and animal rights activists are calling for another rescue effort at high tide.

Friday 14 December 2012

New faster mobile internet licence auction raises €3.8bn
Four telecom companies are to pay a combined €3.8bn for new fast internet frequencies, known as 4G, economic affairs minister Henk Kamp said on Friday.

Several injured as school under construction collapses
Part of a new international school being built in Eindhoven collapsed on Friday, burying at least four people under the rubble, according to media reports.

New 4G internet frequency auction raised 'billions'
The auction of frequencies for new faster 4G internet services has raised much more than experts expected, Nos television reports.

Ban on Iranian students is discriminatory, says supreme court
Dutch universities and hbo colleges can no longer refuse admittance to Iranian nationals who might come into contact with nuclear expertise, the supreme court ruled on Friday.

Government presses ahead with merging provinces
The cabinet has agreed to press ahead with plans to merge Noord-Holland, Utrecht and Flevoland into a single entity and draft legislation is expected to be completed by the end of next year, Nos television reports.

Competition authority blocks crisp bake takeover
The Dutch competition authority NMa has halted the takeover of bakery group Bolletje by Continental Bakeries.

High-speed train officials meet, minister blames teething problems
Senior railway officials from the Netherlands and Belgium are meeting on Friday in an effort to solve the problems facing the high-speed train service Fyra, according to media reports.

British tourists arrested at Schiphol for disrupting flight
Military police at Schiphol airport arrested 17 British holidaymakers on Thursday afternoon for misbehaving during their flight to Amsterdam, news agency ANP said.

Illegal immigrants to face €3,900 fine and deportation
The cabinet will today discuss its controversial plans to make being an illegal immigrant a criminal offence, RTL news reported on Friday.

ABP pension fund to increase premiums, pay-out cut very likely
Civil service pension fund ABP said on Friday it plans to increase premiums by 1.3 percentage points to 25.4% and that a pension cut next year is on the cards.

AkzoNobel sells North American decorative paints division
AkzoNobel said on Friday it is selling its North American decorative paints division to PPG in a deal worth just over $1bn.

Final effort to free stranded humpback whale fails
A last-ditch effort on Thursday evening to save the humpback whale stuck on a sandbank in the Wadden Sea failed to free the 12-metre long mammal.

Black ice causes road trouble in northern areas
Black ice in northern parts of the country has led to several accidents, forcing the KNMI weather bureau to issue a code orange warning for Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe.

Former transport minister to take over KLM top job, says Nos
Former transport minister Camiel Eurlings is to replace KLM chief executive Peter Hartman next year, Nos television reports, quoting company sources.

Thursday 13 December 2012

Court rules orca Morgan's removal to Spain was not unlawful
The removal of the orca Morgan to an amusement park on Tenerife was not unlawful, judges in Amsterdam said on Thursday.

Ombudsman to investigate two stop and search events
The national ombudsman has begun an investigation into two police stop and search controls in the south of Gelderland province earlier this year.

Agreement reached on new wind turbine policy
National and provincial government have reached agreement on the locations for hundreds of new wind turbines, ending years of dispute, news agency ANP reports.

Premier division clubs make a loss, but not as much as last year
The 18 clubs in the Dutch premier division (eredivisie) posted a combined loss of €15m last season, less than half the €35m loss recorded in 2010/2011.

Civil servant apologises after 'tramp' tweet over refugees
A civil servant with the home affairs ministry has apologised after sending out an 'insulting' tweet ahead of Thursday's clearance of an impromptu asylum seekers' camp in The Hague.

Humpback whale rescue efforts halted
Marine wildlife experts on Thursday abandoned their efforts to rescue a humpback whale which had become stranded on a sandbank in the Wadden Sea.

Man jailed for 18 years for killing jeweller during armed robbery
A 20-year-old man has been jailed for 18 years for his role in an armed robbery on an Amsterdam jewellery shop, in which the owner was killed.

Former Shell chief executive leaves supervisory board as well
Shell's former chief executive Jeroen van der Veer is stepping down as a member of the oil giant's supervisory board as well.

Rabobank cycling team restarts as Blanco Pro
The former Rabobank professional cycling team is to continue competing under the name Blanco Pro - at least until it finds a new main sponsor.

New blow to digital patient records system
Plans to launch a digital patient record system next year have taken another knock now members of the the biggest family doctors’ association LHV have called for a rethink.

Dutch population grows marginally as immigration declines
The population of the Netherlands grew by just 47,000 this year, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.

More problems for Fyra high-speed service to Brussels
The Hague city council is hoping MPs will on Thursday approve steps to restore direct links between the political capital of the Netherlands and Brussels.

Schoolgirl train suicide may be linked to bullying (update)
An investigation has begun into the apparent suicide of a 15-year-old girl at a school in Meppel, who jumped in front of a train before the start of lessons on Tuesday, watched by several classmates.

Hope fades for humpback whale still stranded in Wadden Sea
The humpback whale that stranded on a sandbank near the Wadden Sea island of Texel on Wednesday is still alive and occasionally flaps his tail, workers from the Ecomare marine centre told Nos television on Thursday.

Four Dutch banks will fall under European banking supervision
Four big Dutch banks will fall under European central bank supervision in 2014 when new rules agreed by European finance ministers come into effect.

Unfair competition for jobs not a major issue on PVV hotline
The hotline set up by the anti-immigration PVV earlier this year for people to report 'problems' caused by Eastern Europeans collected 40,000 complaints, the PVV says on its website.

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Labour migration not always beneficial, says government institute
The national and European governments must be more active in managing future labour migration, the Dutch Scientific Council for Government Policy WRR says in a new report.

Amsterdam gets tough on smoking (cannabis) in schools
Amsterdam city council is to impose a blanket ban on the smoking of marijuana in school playgrounds, and may extend the ban to playgrounds in parks and in residential areas as well, according to media reports on Wednesday.

More than half of young Dutch adults are still in education
Almost one in six of the Netherlands 18 to 25-year-olds are still in education with the percentage of masters degree students rising 8% this year, according to figures out on Wednesday.

Exports rise 6% in October
Dutch export growth reached 6% in October, the highest level in the last five months, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday.

Humpback whale stranded on Wadden Sea sandbank
Efforts are under way in the Wadden Sea to save a humpback whale which has become stranded on a sandbank near Texel.

Dutch forestry commission to cut 200 out of 1,000 jobs
The forestry commission is to reduce its 1,000 strong workforce by some 20% because of budget cuts, the organisation said on Wednesday.

Growth suppressants can hurt fertility, says Dutch researcher
Women who have taken hormone-based growth suppressants in their youth should not wait too long before trying to have children because they may experience fertility problems, according to a researcher at Erasmus teaching hospital.

Reported sex crimes down by one-third
The number of sex crimes being reported to the police has gone down sharply over the past six years, according to the latest emancipation monitor published by the government's socio-cultural policy group SCP.

New cancer treatment standards may force hospitals to stop
Dozens of hospitals may stop carrying out some forms of cancer treatment next year because they no longer meet nationally-agreed quality standards, health service magazine Medisch Contact reports on Wednesday.

Senators back fur farming ban
The senate has finally backed proposals to phase out fur farming in the Netherlands, leading to a total ban by 2024.

Pension funds spend more on management
The management costs of the Netherlands' 20 biggest pension funds have gone up by 60% since 2008 to €6.2m, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Wednesday.

Princess Mabel returns to public duties
Princess Mabel will on Wednesday make her first public appearance since her husband Friso was hit by an avalanche during a royal family skiing trip last year.

Amsterdam to ban marijuana in the school playground
Amsterdam city council is to impose a blanket ban on the smoking of marijuana in school playgrounds, and may extend the ban to playgrounds in parks and in residential areas as well, the Telegraaf reports on Wednesday.

Financial sector watchdog criticises accountants over housing corps
The big four accountancy groups underestimated the risks facing housing corporations in the period prior to 2010 and did not carry out proper checks on their finances, the financial services watchdog AFM says in Wednesday's Financieele Dagblad.

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Rail companies criticised for risky timetables in crash report
Transport ministry inspectors are to increase their supervision of Dutch railway firms NS and ProRail in the wake of April’s head-on collision between two trains, which injured 190 people and killed an elderly woman.

Attacks on referees could carry double the standard sentence
Justice minister Ivo Opstelten wants to research the possibility of introducing harsher punishments for people convicted of attacking referees, RTL news reports.

Art traders can work together to buy paintings, says cartel body
The competition authority NMa has cleared the way for art traders to work together when buying paintings at auction under some circumstances.

Amsterdam school officials arrested for fraud
The chairman of an Amsterdam school board, its director and financial chief have been arrested in connection with a €250,000 fraud, the public prosecution department said on Tuesday.

Pension fund ABP settles out of court with JPMorgan Chase
Dutch pension fund ABP, one of the biggest pension funds in the world, has reached an out of court settlement with JPMorgan Chase over mortgage portfolios bought in 2006 and 2007.

Four more arrested in football linesman death investigation
Four more people - three teenagers and a 50-year-old man - have been arrested in connection with the police investigation into the death of an amateur football linesman eight days ago.

Nasdaq buys stake in Amsterdam options exchange TOM
American stock exchange group Nasdaq is taking a stake in TOM, the Amsterdam Dutch derivatives exchange set up by BinckBank and Optiver.

Union calls for clamp-down on 'tricks' like payrolling
Trade union group FNV has written to social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher urging him to join unions, employers and the state benefits agency UWV in working out a plan of campaign to restart the economy.

Employers gloomy on jobs
Dutch employers are extremely gloomy about employment prospects in the coming period, according to a survey of 42 countries by staffing agency Manpower.

35% of women still don't have a paid job, new report shows
The proportion of working women in the Dutch labour market remained unchanged at around 64% in 2010 and 2011, the government’s socio-cultural advisory group SCP says in a new report.

DE Masterblenders chief executive stands down over strategy
The chief executive of coffee company DE Masterblenders has resigned following a disagreement with the rest of the board about strategy at the company, which was launched on the Amsterdam stock exchange this summer.

Monday 10 December 2012

Council pays €1m to move trailer park family to new location
A family who lived on a trailer park in Maastricht was given almost €1m by the city council to move three enormous caravans to a new location, current affairs show Nieuwsuur reports.

Central bank sees further economic decline, cabinet stands firm
The Dutch economy will contract by a further 0.6% next year, the central bank says in its latest economic forecasts.

Leiden buses, Fyra high-speed trains hit by problems
Transport company Arriva, which has taken over bus and train services in several parts of the country, says it will be January before numerous teething problems have been sorted out.

Dutch salaries set to rise 2.4% next year
Salaries in the Netherlands will rise by an average 2.4% next year, according to research by international consulting company Hay Group.

Labour MPs to call on minister to take action on payrolling
Labour MPs are calling on the government to stop companies employing workers through payroll companies, saying the system is being used to get round formal pay and conditions agreements.

PSV move into premier division lead
PSV Eindhoven moved into the lead of the Dutch premier division on Sunday after beating Twente 3-0.

Freighter adrift off Zandvoort
A freighter which is drifting some two km off the coast of seaside resort Zandvoort will be towed to safety later on Monday.

More people commit suicide by train
In 2011, 215 people committed suicide by throwing themselves in front of a train and 26 people tried to do so, according to new transport ministry figures.

Tax office to use private debt collection agencies to up tax income
The tax office is planning to use commercial debt collection agencies to recover unpaid taxes, junior finance minister Frans Weekers has told parliament in a memo.

Youths arrested at memorial for teen shot dead by police
Some 20 youths were arrested at Hollands Spoor railway station early on Sunday evening after refusing to end a memorial meeting for a youth shot dead by police last month.

Thousands take part in silent march in protest at football violence
Some 12,000 people gathered in Almere on Sunday for a silent march to commemorate the amateur football linesman who died after being attacked by a group of teenagers a week ago.

Sunday 09 December 2012

Illegal youngsters can do work experience, says minister
The government will take steps to make it possible for youngsters without residency permits but who are at college to take up work experience places, social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher said at the weekend.

We're in for a shock: pensions worth much less than most expect
Most Dutch workers will end up with a pension worth around half their last-earned salary, not 70% as most people think, the Volkskrant reported at the weekend.

Dutch men's hockey team takes silver in Champion's Trophy
The Dutch men's hockey team lost the final of the Champion's Trophy 1-2 to defending champions Australia at the weekend.

Cabinet popularity continues to decline, PVV is biggest party
Geert Wilders' anti-immigration PVV has overtaken the ruling VVD Liberals and PvdA Labour party in the polls, according to a new survey by pollster Maurice de Hond.

Friday 07 December 2012

Violence on the pitch won't be tolerated, says prime minister
The attack on football linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen by a group of teenage players is not a ‘Moroccan problem’ but the responsibility of society as a whole, prime minister Mark Rutte said on Friday.

Motorists warned to be careful as temperatures dip to -10 Celsius
This morning's heavy snowfall over much of the Netherlands caused few serious problems on the roads and railways, although hundreds of flights were cancelled at Schiphol airport.

Dutch agree to deploy Patriot missiles on Turkish-Syrian border
The Dutch cabinet on Friday agreed to send two Patriot air defence system teams to Turkey to help protect against possible attacks from Syria, the NRC reported.

Charitable donations rose 3% last year
Donations to charity rose by 3.1% last year, compared with 2010, the charitable fund raising organisation CBF said on Friday.

Fourth teenager arrested in football linesman death investigation
Amsterdam police have arrested a fourth boy in their investigation into the death of an amateur football linesman, who was attacked by players after a match on Sunday.

Pippa Middleton's book Celebrate goes Dutch
Dutch has been chosen as the first foreign language version of Pippa Middleton's party book Celebrate, publishing company Unieboek Het Spectrum said on Friday.

Flights, trains cancelled as snow falls over much of the country
The forecast heavy snow arrived later than expected in the Netherlands on Friday and there were few serious problems during the morning rush hour, according to media reports.

Include student loans in national debt register, says BKR chief
Information about student loans should be recorded in the national debt register BKR, the organisation’s director Peter van den Bosch says in an interview with the Financieele Dagblad.

TNT in court, accuses former CEO of breaking competition clause
Express package company TNT Express is taking legal action against its former chief executive Marie-Christine Lombard in an effort to stop her working for a competitor, the Financieele Dagblad reports.

Family doctors head for court over digital patient records
A small family doctors’ association representing hundreds of general practitioners is taking four big insurance companies to court over the new electronic patient records system.

Flights, trains cancelled as the Netherlands gears up for snow
The KNMI weather bureau has issued a code orange extreme weather warning for most of the Netherlands on Friday, as snow and strong winds are expected during the morning rush hour.

Thursday 06 December 2012

Blackstone to buy Dutch trust office
Private equity group Blackstone is paying €675m to buy a Dutch trust administration firm that in part helps companies minimise their tax bills, the Financial Times reports.

Frisian farmer caught by dna confesses to 1999 schoolgirl murder
The Frisian farmer arrested last month on suspicion of killing a 16-year-old girl in 1999 has confessed to the murder.

European MPs to get sharp discount on Fyra high-speed trains
Members of the European parliament are to get hefty discounts when they use the Fyra high-speed train service, the Parool reports on Thursday.

Airline KLM scraps 71 flights because of snow forecast
KLM has cancelled 71 flights on Friday because of the expected heavy snowfall, the airline's website said on Thursday evening.

Railways, airports, roads gear up for Friday's forecast snow (update)
Dutch rail (NS), Schiphol airport and motoring organisations are making preparations to cope with an expected heavy snowfall on Friday morning, according to media reports.

First cabinet casualty: junior minister quits over travel expenses claim
Junior economic minister Co Verdaas has resigned following a row over expenses claimed while he was a member of Gelderland provincial council.

Advisors criticise minister on plan to let police hack computers
Plans by justice minister Ivo Opstelten to give the police greater powers to hack into private computers and install spyware have been criticised by some of his own advisors.

Public broadcasting system faces funding overhaul
The government is planning to overhaul the way public broadcasting in the Netherlands is funded, junior culture minister Sander Dekker said on Thursday.

Attack on football linesman was photographed (update)
The attack on an amateur football linesman who died after being kicked and punched by three teenagers, was captured on photographs, the Telegraaf reports on Thursday.

Postal workers to get 1.7% pay rise
Postal workers' unions and PostNL have agreed a 1.7% pay rise after months of difficult talks. The pay deal will be implemented in two stages and runs until April next year.

More Dutch households live in poverty, set to reach 9.4% next year
The number of single people and households living in poverty in the Netherlands has risen again this year to around 1.1 million, according to a new report by the government’s socio-cultural advisory group SCP and national statistics office CBS.

Tax deals through letterbox firms under fire, MPs call for change
MPs from the ruling VVD and PvdA want an end to the establishment of letterbox companies in the Netherlands, used by multinationals and rock groups like the Rolling Stones to avoid taxes

Train services cut in the north, longer jams because of the snow
Thursday morning’s early snow fall caused problems on the roads all over the country during the morning rush hour, resulting in longer traffic jams than usual.

Eleven feared dead after ships collide off Zeeland coast
Eleven people are thought to have died when the freighter Baltic Ace sank after hitting a container ship off the coast of Zeeland on Wednesday night.

Wednesday 05 December 2012

Brussels fines Philips €500m for its role in cathode ray tube cartels
Dutch electronics giant Philips is one of seven companies fined a total €1.47bn by the European Commission for operating cathode ray tube cartels.

Snow may fall this evening, but winter will really hit on Friday
While there may be some snow on Wednesday evening, weather forecasters say winter will start in earnest on Friday, with up to 10 cm of snow and frost at night.

Air safety experts investigate Schiphol 'near miss'
Air safety experts are investigating a near miss between two aircraft which were heading directly at each other some 600m from the ground close to Schiphol airport last month, the Volkskrant reports.

Rotterdam police use Zwarte Piet as a disguise
Rotterdam police are dressing up as Zwarte Piet to act as decoys and observers in ‘suspicious’ situations, the AD reports on Wednesday.

One fee, two degrees, say ruling party MPs
Students taking two degrees simultaneously should be stimulated rather than punished and extra costs should be scrapped, according to MPs from the two ruling parties.

Property group Corio to cut retail portfolio by €1.4bn
Property investment group Corio has put Villa Arena, its furniture and household fitting mall in Amsterdam’s Zuidoost district up for sale, the Financieele Dagblad reports.

Prime minister tells senate wide support for policies is crucial
The cabinet will look for as broad support as possible for its plans, in both the upper and lower houses of parliament, prime minister Mark Rutte told the senate on Tuesday.

Childcare sector urges cabinet to scrap further subsidy cuts
The government’s plans to scrap €205m from the childcare budget next year should be dropped because the sector has been hit harder than expected by this year’s cuts, say employers, unions and parents organisations.

Ajax moves down to Europa League
Amsterdam football club Ajax will play in the Europa League after the winter break despite losing 4-1 to Real Madrid in their final Group D game of the Champions League.

Tuesday 04 December 2012

Crucial government plans face problems in senate: NRC report
A number of plans central to the new government's economic strategy will not be approved by the upper house of parliament, the NRC reports on Tuesday.

Utrecht asbestos scare: emergency evacuation was unneccessary
The emergency evacuation of 184 families because of an asbestos scare in Utrecht this summer was unnecessary, according to the formal inquiry into the incident.

Building sector bankruptcies soar
The number of construction firms going bust in the third quarter of this year rose nearly 25% on a year ago, as the housing crisis continues to bite.

Arrested Kurds were holding legal meeting, says Kurdish body
The 55 Kurds arrested as suspected members of the PKK rebel group on Monday were holding a legal meeting, the Dutch Kurdish Federation said on Tuesday.

Youths face manslaughter charges for kicking linesman to death
Three teenagers who punched and kicked a linesman after an amateur league match on Sunday are being held on manslaughter and public violence charges, the public prosecution department said on Tuesday.

Early retirees threaten ministers with legal action over pensions
A group of people on early retirement schemes are threatening the government with legal action over its plans to increase the state pension age.

Jewellers told to avoid PostNL for delivery after packages vanish
The Dutch jewellers and goldsmiths' federation has advised its members to stop using PostNL to deliver packages because so many disappear en route to their destination, the Telegraaf reports on Tuesday.

Dutch Afghan mission may stop earlier than planned: army chief
Germany's decision to withdraw troops from the northern Afghan province of Kunduz may lead to the Dutch mission ending in 2013, mission commander Roland de Jong says in Tuesday's Volkskrant.

Actor Jeroen Willems dies, forcing Carré gala concert to be delayed
A gala concert to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Amsterdam's Carre theatre has been cancelled following the death of one of the Netherlands' leading actors during rehearsals.

Healthcare pension fund plans to switch to more risky system
Health service pension fund Zorg en Welzijn has become the first Dutch fund to say it plans to switch to the new flexible pension system the government wants to introduce in 2015.

Monday 03 December 2012

Linesman dies after attack by teenage football players
The 41-year-old linesman reportedly beaten up by three boys aged 15 and 16 after a football match in Almere at the weekend has died.

Frisian households are the most generous
Households in Friesland give an average €11.10 to door-to-door charity collectors, making them the most generous in the country, according to fund-raising umbrella group CBF.

Independent greengrocers and butchers disappear from the high street
The number of independent greengrocer and butcher shops in the Netherlands has plunged by almost 50% since the turn of the century, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS.

Sex criminal register does not work as a deterrent: report
Setting up an official register of sex offenders, as happens in the US and Britain, does not reduce the re-offending rate, a report for the Dutch justice ministry said on Monday.

More than half Dutch men, almost half of women are overweight
Some 54% of Dutch men and 43% of Dutch women are now overweight, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS.

Dutch police arrest 55 suspected PKK members in Zeeland
Police have arrested 55 suspected members of the Kurdish separatist movement PKK who were holding a secret meeting in Zeeland province, the public prosecution department said on Monday.

Delta Lloyd continues job cutting in the name of efficiency
Insurance group Delta Lloyd is to reduce its workforce by up to 5% a year over the next few years, chief executive Niek Hoek says in an interview with the NRC.

Personal healthcare fraud widespread, minister promises action
The health ministry is to get tough on suspected fraud involving personal care budgets (pgb) which are used to help the elderly and handicapped remain living in their own homes.

Teen football players arrested for seriously beating up linesman
Three youths aged 15 and 16 have been arrested for beating up a linesman after an amateur football match between Amsterdam club Nieuw Sloten and Almere club Buitenboys.

Rush-hour crash closes Rotterdam's A20, elsewhere few problems
The A20 round Rotterdam was closed in both directions at the Terbregseplein junction on Monday morning following a serious accident involving a car and a lorry in which at least one person died.

Airline KLM to cut workforce by 3,000 jobs, says Telegraaf
Airline KLM plans to cut its workforce by 10%, or 3,000 jobs, in order to reduce costs, the Telegraaf reports on Monday.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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