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September 2013

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Monday 30 September 2013

Budget negotiations to continue on Tuesday
The coalition government's negotiations with opposition parties on spending plans being held on Monday will continue on Tuesday.

Electronic tagging plan under fire again
Junior justice minister Fred Teeven's plan to use electronic tagging to help cut the prison service budget has come under fire from the government's highest advisory body, the Raad van State.

Foreign investment doubles, thousands of jobs created
The amount of foreign investment in the Netherlands has doubled over the first six months of this year to €827m, creating 4,332 new jobs, economic affairs minister Henk Kamp said on Monday.

Abortion limit should be dropped say medical researchers
Researchers at the Erasmus medical centre and the Amsterdam medical centre are asking health minister Edith Schippers to drop the 24-week limit on abortion.

AZ Alkmaar manager in shock departure
AZ Alkmaar on Sunday confirmed the sacking of manager Gertjan Verbeek with 'immediate effect', one day after his team scored a 2-1 victory over PSV Eindhoven.

PSV suffer first defeat, FC Twente go top of league
PSV Eindhoven suffered their first defeat of the new premier league season on Saturday losing 1-2 against AZ of Alkmaar and cutting their league lead to just one point.    

Oad holiday companies to relaunch
The Oad holiday bus company and cultural holiday company SRC, both part of the Oad travel group which was declared bankrupt last week, are to relaunch with new backers, news agency ANP reports.

40% of the Dutch feel lonely
Nearly 40% of Dutch adults are lonely, according to research published in the Health Monitor.

Shimon Peres visits Anne Frank House
Israeli president Shimon Peres made a private visit to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam on Sunday.

Christian Democrats continue rise in polls
The Christian Democrats (CDA) and coalition party the liberal VVD are neck and neck in the latest poll, with the CDA just one seat behind.

Sunday 29 September 2013

Socialists refuse to join budget negotiations
The Socialist party has refused to join the budget negotiations which begin on Monday, saying to do so would be 'completely futile'.

Friday 27 September 2013

NS and minister agree Fyra high-speed train solution
Dutch rail company NS on Friday reached an agreement with junior transport minister Wilma Mansveld on a replacement high-speed service to Brussels.

'Pensioners shift assets to offspring to avoid nursing home fees'
Some 10,000 pensioners have taken legal advice about changing their wills in order to avoid extra nursing home fees, the AD reports on Friday.

'Quote 500' burglary gang jailed for up to six years
Members of a group of burglars, dubbed the Quote 500 gang because they targeted houses from the magazine's rich list, have been jailed for up to six years.

Foundation launches emergency service based on volunteers
A private initiative in the Netherlands is attempting to set up a new emergency service which uses volunteers alongside professionals and which it claims should be able to reach people in life-threatening situations more quickly.

The income gap in the Netherlands is getting wider, researchers say
The gap between rich and poor in the Netherlands has increased over the past 35 years, according to researchers at Amsterdam University.

The first frost of winter and a sunny weekend ahead
The ground temperature dropped to -1.8 Celsius in Overijssel and Twente overnight, according to weather bureau weeronline.nl.

'Publishing research about disease-carrying virus needs export permit'
A government ban on the publication of a scientific article about research into manipulating the bird flu virus was correct, a court in Haarlem has decided.

2014 budget: Now the horse-trading begins as parties vie for changes
The coalition government is to start negotiations with opposition parties on changes to the 2014 spending plans in an effort to win their support for measures in the upper house of parliament.

Rabobank 'on track' to settle Libor fixing scandal: FT
Dutch cooperative bank Rabobank is ‘on track’ to settle allegations it helped to manipulate key benchmark interbank interest rates by as early as next month, reports the Financial Times.

Wilders' MPs wear badges featuring Nazi-linked flag in parliament
Four MPs from Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration PVV wore a badge in parliament on Wednesday featuring a flag associated with neo-Nazi groups, the NRC reports.

Thursday 26 September 2013

Budget plans: cabinet willing to talk about social accord changes
The cabinet is prepared to talk to unions and employers about bringing forward plans to reform redundancy law and cut unemployment benefits, prime minister Mark Rutte said on Thursday.

Most Dutch Bjorn Borg underwear shops to close
Most of the 24 Bjorn Borg underwear shops in the Netherlands are to close, the brand's distributor said on Thursday.

'Closing coal-fired power stations breaks competition law'
The agreement by energy firms, ministers, enviromental groups and unions to ensure the five old coal-fired power stations in the Netherlands are closed down conflicts with competition law, according to competition authority ACM.

Sale of players boosts Ajax profits
Amsterdam football club Ajax booked net profit of €18m over the 2012/13 season, up €8.5m on the previous one, the club said on Thursday.

Dutch artist makes skull out of street-sourced cocaine
A Dutch conceptual artist is causing a bit of a stir in the art world after making a sculpture of a life-size human skull using cocaine for a private collector.

The Dutch are again the world's fifth richest population
The Dutch are the fifth richest population in the world, according to the latest Global Wealth Report by German insurance group Allianz.

Albert Heijn under fire over bonus card privacy: full of holes
The Albert Heijn supermarket discount card does not have proper security, enabling anyone to find out what a user has been buying, the Telegraaf reports on Thursday.

Pentagon inspectors find hundreds of JSF deficiencies: Bloomberg
The Pentagon’s inspector general has identified ‘hundreds of deficiencies’ in the JSF jet fighter programme, just days after the Netherlands agreed to buy 37 of the aircraft.

All eyes on the prime minister: what concessions will he make?
Prime minister Mark Rutte is widely expected to offer some concessions to opposition parties during Thursday’s debate on the government’s 2014 spending plans.

High-speed train maker on the offensive with open letter to rail users
Italian train builder AnsaldoBreda took a full page advert in a number of Dutch newspapers on Thursday, stating that the Fyra high-speed train can still be made a success.

A piece of Scottish history is under threat in Zeeland
A piece of Scottish history in the Netherlands is under threat, now funding is set to be withdrawn for the Schotse Huizen museum in the Zeeland town of Veere.

7,000 holidaymakers stranded as travel firm Oad goes bust
Some 7,000 people were effectively stranded in their holiday location on Wednesday evening after travel company Oad went bust.

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Budget debate: Wilders lashes out after Nazi supporter claims
Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration PVV, and Alexander Pechtold of the Liberal democratic party D66 have clashed in parliament over Nazi salutes spotted at last weekend's PVV rally.

Brussels warns about impact of Dutch skilled technicians shortage
While the Netherlands continues to be among the top performers in EU competitiveness indicators, the country is likely to face challenges, according to a new European Commission report.

Arnhem drops its fashion event Mode Biennale
Arnhem city council will no longer support the Mode Biennale fashion event after the last edition made a €160,000 loss, partly due to disappointing visitor numbers.

Nigel de Jong, Gregory van der Wiel recalled for Oranje
Coach Louis van Gaal has included Nigel de Jong and Gregory van der Wiel in his squad for the final two World Cup qualifying matches against Hungary and Turkey.

Half today's baby girls will reach 100, as will one in three boys
Half the baby girls and one-third of the baby boys born today will reach the age of 100, according to new calculations by the Dutch demographic institute.

Fewer Dutch Muslims head for Mecca
The number of Dutch Muslim pilgrims planning to make a trip to Mecca this year has almost halved because of the economic crisis, Trouw reports on Wednesday.

Opposition parties line up as two-day budget debate starts
MPs will today begin two days of debate on the government’s 2014 spending plans which were presented to parliament last week.

Feyenoord challenges tax office over extra charge on high salaries
Rotterdam football club Feyenoord is planning to take legal action against the government for making it pay an extra tax on high earners' salaries for a second year.

More good news on housing market: first-time buyers are back
First-time buyers are currently more positive about taking their first step on the housing ladder than they have been since 2006, according to ING economists.

NS involves Fyra train maker's Italian parent company in claim
Dutch railway company NS is holding Italian company Finmeccanica jointly responsible for the Fyra high-speed train problems, public broadcaster Nos reports on Wednesday.

Russia fails to respond to Dutch demands over Greenpeace ship
Russia has failed to respond to Dutch demands for an explanation of the seizure of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise by Russian coastguards, Nos television said on Wednesday.

Tuesday 24 September 2013

The Netherlands demands Russia explains Greenpeace ship seizure
The Netherlands has given Russia until 18.00 hours on Tuesday evening to explain its actions over the seizure of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise, Nos television reports.

Merged Applied Materials and Tokyo Electron go for Dutch domicile
The new company to be created following the merger of US company Applied Materials and Japan's Tokyo Electron will be domiciled in Amsterdam, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Tuesday.

Man jailed for anti-Jewish t-shirts
A 37-year-old man has been jailed for two years for public violence offences and possessing 43 t-shirts which discriminate against Jews.

Lost wallet test shows rich are most likely to keep the cash
Seven out of 12 wallets ‘dropped’ in Amsterdam in an experiment to test people’s honesty were returned to their owners.

Freelancers travel further for work
Freelancers travel to and from work for an average 105 minutes a day – almost double the average Dutch worker, BNR radio reports on Tuesday.

More Brazilian students come to the Netherlands
Between 700 and 800 Brazilian nationals are studying at Dutch universities, propelling the South American country into the top five of non-EU student bodies.

ChristenUnie says austerity package should be halved in size
Minor Christian party ChristenUnie has set out its demands for supporting the cabinet in the upper house of parliament, where the government does not have a majority.

Euthanasia requests rose in 2012
The number of people opting to die by euthanasia rose by 13% last year to 4,188, according to the five regional committees charged with ensuring the legal conditions for assisted suicide are met.

DSW opens health insurance price war with €90 premium cut
Health insurance company DSW has kicked off the annual premium war by announcing plans to cut its fee for a basic health insurance package by €90 to €1,140 next year.

Monday 23 September 2013

Dutch wine growers forecast a good harvest
Dutch wine growers expect 2013 to be a good year with a promising harvest despite the slow start, the Telegraaf reports on Monday.

Dutch Nairobi terror attack victim was researching malaria
A 33-year-old Dutch woman is among the dozens of victims of the Nairobi shopping centre blood bath, according to local media reports.

The oldest Dutch driver is 103
There are 22 people over the age of 100 in the Netherlands who still hold a valid driving licence, the oldest of whom is 103, according to figures from the driving licence service RDW.

Opposition parties demand concessions for senate support (update)
Christian Democrat chief Sybrand Buma has become the latest opposition party leader to say he will support the government’s austerity package, in return for major concessions.

Plus tells suppliers to pay for supermarket price war
The Plus supermarket group has written to its suppliers to say wholesalers will have to foot the bill for the latest supermarket price war, Nos television reports on Monday.

Emmy award for Dutch tv format The Voice
Dutch television magnate John de Mol has won an Emmy for his television talent show format The Voice at the award ceremony in Los Angeles.

Professor faked 61 pieces of research: Volkskrant
A former professor at Amsterdam’s VU university published at least 61 pieces of faked research over a 15-year period, the Volkskrant reports on Monday.

Dutch father and son set beach soccer record
Roel and Diego Liefden from the Netherlands have made international beach football history by becoming the first father and son to be members of the same team.

Former Dutch queen Beatrix breaks cheekbone in a fall
Princess Beatrix, the former Dutch queen, has undergone surgery after she fell and broke a cheekbone, the state information service RVD said at the weekend.

PSV thrash Ajax to go top of the Eredivisie
PSV Eindhoven moved into the top spot in the Eredivisie in this weekend’s football action after thrashing Ajax of Amsterdam 4-0.

Sunday 22 September 2013

Amsterdam publishes report into painting's 'botched' restoration
Two reports into the botched restoration of the Barnet Newman painting Who's afraid of red, yellow and blue III have been made public by Amsterdam city council after a court order.

Saturday 21 September 2013

Italian gangster, facing life in jail for murder, arrested in Nieuwegein,
Dutch police have arrested a senior member of the mafia on behalf of the Italian authorities, the public prosecution department said in a statement.

No auction for Scheveningen pier
A planned auction to find a new owner for Scheveningen pier has been cancelled because no-one had signed up to take part, the pier's official receivers said.

Post budget fall-out: demonstrations and jostling for position (update)
In a flurry of newspaper and television interviews, ministers and political leaders have been quick to stake their claims ahead of next week’s first debate on the budget and the 2014 spending plans.

Friday 20 September 2013

Rembrandt is brown, Van Gogh is green
A Dutch artist has developed computer software to come up with an ‘average’ painting for famous artists, by combining all their works into a single canvas.

House price falls start to level off
House prices were down 4.4% in August compared with the year earlier period, the national statistics office CBS said on Friday.

Universities increasingly turn to short-term contract staff
An increasing number of university academic staff are being employed on temporary contracts, Trouw reports on Friday.  

Effective tax bill set to rise to 59% of salary for higher earners
Within three years, taxes will take up 59% of the income of people earning twice and three times the national average, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Friday.

Teenager becomes sixth Dutch Muslim to die in Syria
An 18-year-old youth from The Hague has become the sixth Dutch person to be killed fighting with rebel forces in Syria, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

Cate Blanchett to direct film based on Dutch best seller The Dinner
Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett is to make her directorial debut with an English-language film based on Herman Koch’s best seller The Dinner.

Rich foreigners can 'buy' a Dutch residency permit for €1.25m (update)
Rich foreigners are to be offered temporary residency permits if they agree to invest at least €1.25m in Dutch companies.

Thursday 19 September 2013

Labour members rebel on JSF, audit office says figures don't add up
The cabinet may have agreed to spend €4.5bn on 37 JSF fighter jets, but criticism of the decision is mounting both inside and outside parliament.

DE boss cashes in on coffee company sale
The chief executive of coffee and tea company DE Master Blenders has sold shares worth €7.7m ahead of the group's takeover by investment house Joh A Benckiser.

Owlman keeps Deventer awake
People in parts of Deventer are being kept awake at night by a man who wanders through the streets making loud 'whoo ooh' owl noises, Nos television reports on Thursday.

Three jailed for stealing €250,000 church artefact
Two men involved in the theft of a rare and valuable religious artefact from the Catharijne convent museum in Utrecht have been jailed for 27 and 20 months.

Unemployment falls slightly - for the first time in two years
The number of unemployed in the Netherlands fell by 11,000 to 683,000 in August, ending two years of steady increases, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.

Ajax thrashed by Barcelona in Champions League debut
Three goals from Lionel Messi helped Barcelona to a 4-0 win over Amsterdam's Ajax in the first group match of this year's Champions League competition.

MPs briefed on secret Syria information after all
Foreign affairs minister Frans Timmermans has caved into pressure from MPs and will brief the parliamentary foreign affairs committee on secret information about Syria after all.

Insurance firms are breaking privacy laws over sick workers
Insurance companies such as Achmea and De Goudse are structurally infringing on patients' rights to privacy by pressuring employers for information about sick workers, according to television current affairs show Zembla.

Restaurant critic Johannes van Dam dies
The Netherlands' most famous restaurant critic, Johannes van Dam, has died in hospital at the age of 66.

More convicted criminals will stay in jail pending an appeal
More people who have been convicted of a crime will not be allowed out of jail pending an appeal, if new justice ministry proposals become law.

No shale gas decision for 18 months, pending more research
A decision on whether or not to allow drilling for shale gas in the Netherlands will not be taken for at least another 18 months, pending further research, economic affairs minister Henk Kamp has told parliament.

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Police investigation turns up Afghan death lists
A police investigation into an Afghan refugee has turned up lists with the names of up to 5,000 Afghan citizens who were tortured and killed by the Communist regime in the late 1970s, the NRC reports on Wednesday.  

Moerdijk village should be abandoned to allow port to expand
A village of 1,200 people on a busy river south of Dordrecht should be abandoned to allow a nearby industrial area to develop, according to an independent report on the project.

Leaks mean no more confidential info on Syria, minister tells MPs
The lower house of parliament will not be briefed on any more security service information about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, foreign affairs minister Frans Timmermans said on Wednesday.

Football clubs spared policing bill
Football clubs will not have to pay policing costs outside their stadiums, according to the justice ministry's 2014 spending plans.

Train driver will face criminal charges for fatal crash
The driver of a commuter train which crashed into an intercity train close to Amsterdam's central station last year, killing one person, should face criminal charges, the public prosecution department said on Wednesday.

Police appeal for witnesses to attack on gay man in Vondelpark
Amsterdam police have appealed for witnesses to a serious stabbing incident in the city’s Vondel park, which they say was a deliberate attack on a gay man.

Stolen phones and cosmetics find a new home in the Netherlands
The smartphones and cosmetics ‘stolen in the Netherlands by Eastern European gangs’ are often sold on Dutch markets, according to research into cross-border crime gangs by researchers at Utrecht University.

The 2014 budget: editorials point to slow start and trouble ahead
The first budget of Mark Rutte's second cabinet is under fire in all of the newspaper editorials on Wednesday.

On your bike: one third of under-13s are now driven to school
Almost a third of children are now taken to primary school by car, because parents think it is too dangerous to let them walk or cycle, according to new figures from the traffic and transport institute.

Prime minister is convinced he can get support for 2014 plans
Prime minister Mark Rutte is convinced he can get other parties in parliament to support the cabinet’s plans outlined on Tuesday and make sure they become law.

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Few positive reactions to 2014 budget
Opposition parties, whose support will be needed to ensure the government's budget plans are passed in the upper house of parliament, were highly criticial of the 2014 budget.

No fast, painless solutions for economy, says finance minister
The cabinet wants to ensure the Dutch economy undergoes a ‘sustainable recovery’ with substance, finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem told parliament on Tuesday.

Thousands more jobs to go at defence
Thousands more jobs will have to go if the defence ministry is to find a further €350m in cuts, defence minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said on Tuesday.

Fall in use of donated blood
Requests for donated blood have fallen 15% over the past three years, blood bank organisation Sanquin says on Tuesday.

Foreign affairs chief Frans Timmermans is most trusted minister
The most trusted member of the cabinet is foreign affairs minister Frans Timmermans, according to a new survey

King's speech signals end of the classic welfare state
King Willem-Alexander has made his first speech from the throne, outlining government policy for the coming year.

Utrecht still struggling with prostitution policy: no new zone
Months after closing the city's licenced brothels, Utrecht has so far failed in its efforts to find a new location for legalised prostitution, news agency ANP reports on Tuesday.

Mali kidnap victim included in new hostage video
A video of the Dutch national kidnapped two years ago in Mali was released on Tuesday by the French foreign affairs ministry.

All eyes on new king as he makes his first speech from the throne
King Willem-Alexander will take centre stage at today's 2014 budget presentation when he makes his debut speech from the throne in front of ministers, MPs, senators and other officials.

CCTV images again lead to speedy arrest
Security camera images have again led to the speedy arrest of a suspect in an attack in a public place.

VVD in Roermond splits in two over corruption claims
The right-wing VVD is facing internal divisions over its anti-corruption efforts after a group of councillors in the southern city of Roermond formed a breakaway party.

JSF jet fighter purchase gets green light after 18 years: Telegraaf
The Netherlands will go ahead with the purchase of the controversial JSF jet fighter, despite objections, the Telegraaf reports on Tuesday.

A hot autumn ahead: biggest union goes for 3% pay rise
Despite employer and cabinet calls for moderation, the country's biggest trade union federation FNV says a 3% pay rise will be central to this year's wage negotiations.

Majority of Dutch suffering and blame government for crisis: poll
Two-thirds of the Dutch are feeling the effects of the economic crisis and 80% blame government policy for the situation, a poll conducted on the eve of the budget presentation on Tuesday shows.

Cabinet does u-turn on cigarette prices: AD
Ministers have reversed plans to put up taxes on cigarettes following 'enormous pressure' from lobby groups, the AD reports on Tuesday.

Monday 16 September 2013

As leaky as a sieve: what we know about the 2014 budget so far
With a string of leaks over the past few weeks and this weekend's RTL scoop covering key macro-economic figures, much of the government's 2014 spending plans are already out in the open.

Sugar is an addictive drug, says Amsterdam health chief
Soft drinks should carry warnings that sugar is highly addictive and the government should consider introducing a tax on sugar, the head of Amsterdam's health service says in a website column.

Councils to cut back further on arts and culture spending
Local councils will have to cut a further €1.7bn from spending on the arts and culture by the end of this year, says the national statistics office CBS.

A quarter blame non-renewal of contract for job loss
One in four of the 150,000 people who stopped working in the second quarter of this year did so because their temporary contract was not renewed, the national statistics office CBS said on Monday.

Campaign launched against smart phone use while driving
The transport ministry on Monday launched a campaign to discourage people from using their smart phones while driving, in an effort to prevent dozens of deaths a year.

AEX reaches highest point of the year
Five years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered the financial crisis, Amsterdam stock exchange's AEX index has reached a five-year high of 380.85 points.

Cutbacks and reform will continue: Dutch finance minister
The financial sector needs a shake up but EU financial ministers are not in agreement about the time scale and the extent of the reforms, Dutch finance minister and eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem tells the Volkskrant in an interview.

Online retailers book growth
Online retailers booked an 8% growth in sales in the first six months of this year, despite the recession, according to sector organisation Thuiswinkel.nl.

Come and pick up your Fyra trains, NS tells Italian maker
Dutch railway firm NS has told the Italian maker of the troubled Fyra trains to pick up all 16 units and take them back home.

KPN seals deal with tax office over E-Plus sale write-off
Telecom group KPN has made a deal with the tax office to write off the book loss on the sale of German subsidiary E-Plus.

Pierre Bokma, Halina Reijn pick up top Dutch acting awards.
Pierre Bokma has won the 2013 Louis d’Or award for his role as a charming businessman in The Seducers, a play about the property finance fraud, while Halina Reijn took the Theo d’Or for her leading role in ‘Nora’.

Ruling parties see positive signs in CPB economic figures
MPs from the ruling Labour party (PvdA) and right-wing VVD both say there are positive signs in the leaked key economic figures.

Key features leaked ahead of the budget, spending power down 0.5%
Spending power will shrink by an average 0.5% next year, while the economy will grow by 0.5%, according to key financial figures leaked ahead of Tuesday’s budget.

Sunday 15 September 2013

Labour MPs welcome 'more humane' refugee policy plans
Labour MPs have welcomed the justice ministry's plans to amend current policy on refugees, saying the new approach is 'moving in the right direction'.

Christian Democrats extend hand to government
The opposition Christian Democrats have offered to ensure the government can get legislation through the upper house of parliament if it agrees to freeze teaching, civil service and healthcare workers' salaries.

Minister gets tough on foreign car number plates
Junior finance minister Frans Weekers is to take steps to ensure motorists living in the Netherlands and who own cars with foreign number plates do not escape Dutch vehicle taxes.

Saturday 14 September 2013

Marine Le Pen backs European election alliance with Wilders
French nationalist politician Marine Le Pen is interested in forging a joint campaign for next year’s European elections with Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration PVV.

MIT, Delft, Wageningen to set up Amsterdam urban studies institute
Amsterdam's prestigious new science institute is to be developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Delft University and Wageningen University, the city announced on Friday.

Montessori pupils perform best in primary school tests
Children at Montessori primary schools perform better than those at traditional schools, RTL news reports after studying the results of nationwide tests.

Police service beats army to become the country's biggest employer
The police service has overtaken the armed forces as the Netherlands’ biggest employer, the Volkskrant reports on Saturday.

Friday 13 September 2013

One week into the competition, The Voice contestant hits number 1
A 17-year-old girl taking part in this year's Voice of Holland television talent show has hit number 1 in the charts, just one week into the competition.

Freezing tax bands will cost high earners up to €112 a year
The cabinet's decision not to raise the different tax bands in line with inflation next year will cost Dutch families up to €112 a year, ING bank economists have calculated.

Gas company buys Groningen farmhouse damaged by earthquakes
Gas extraction company NAM has bought a listed farmhouse near the Groningen village of Onderdendam which has been so badly damaged by earthquakes it is not worth repairing, news agency ANP said on Friday.

House prices are stabilising and will rise in long term, says Rabobank
There are real signs the Dutch housing market is stabilising, economists from the country's biggest mortgage lender Rabobank said on Friday.

Unpaid diplomatic traffic fines reach €700,000
Foreign diplomats in the Netherlands have not paid parking and other traffic fines amounting to almost €700,000 over the past four years, according to justice ministry figures.

Nationalised bank ABN Amro wants to freeze staff pay
Nationalised bank ABN Amro has notified banking unions it wants to impose a pay freeze for all 23,000 workers for the coming years, the Telegraaf reports on Friday.

Girl stabbed to death in Den Bosch had reported attacker
A 19-year-old Swedish woman who died after being stabbed in Den Bosch on Tuesday morning, had told the police she had been threatened by her ex-partner, news agency ANP said on Friday.

Dutch cow expert wins Ig Nobel prize for bovine behaviour study
Dutch researcher Bert Tolkamp has been awarded one of this year's Ig Nobel prizes - for studying the number of times cattle stand and lie down again.

A change of heart? Fewer asylum seekers will be locked up
Fewer asylum seekers will be locked up and those in secure accommodation will have better living conditions under new justice ministry proposals, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

Voters are not worried about the crisis, they are furious
Dutch voters are not worried about the impact of the economic crisis, rising unemployment and climate change. They are furious. according to VU University research.

Hollandse Nieuwe herring will no longer be Dutch
The last two boats in the Dutch herring fleet are about to become British, local broadcaster Omroep West reports on Friday.

Thursday 12 September 2013

Two jailed for killing 98-year-old woman during burglary
Two men have been jailed for 18 and 20 years for killing a 98-year-old woman during a robbery at her home in Heerlen last year.

US and NL agreed in 2010 to update nuclear bombs, tv show claims
Television current affairs show Reporter will claim tonight that the Netherlands agreed with the US in 2010 to station new nuclear weapons at the Volkel airbase in Brabant.

The Netherlands has 1,290 super rich
The number of super rich people in the Netherlands has risen by 85 to 1,290 over the past year, according to a new report on the world's ultra wealthy.

Minister will not stop 3.4% train ticket price rise
Junior transport minister Wilma Mansveld will not intervene to stop Dutch railway firm NS raising fares by 3.4% next year, she told parliament on Thursday.

'Labour MPs unconvinced by report, are opposed to shale gas plans'
Labour party MPs oppose drilling for shale gas in the Netherlands, making it unlikely there will be a parliamentary majority in favour, local paper Brabants Dagblad reports on Thursday.

Nijmegen hospital goes public with cancer survival rates
Radboud University’s teaching hospital has become the first hospital in the Netherlands to publish its own cancer survival rates, the Volkskrant reports on Thursday.

KPN in 'constructive talks' with América Móvil about takeover bid
Telecoms firm KPN has been having ‘constructive talks’ with Mexican group América Móvil about its takeover bid, the Dutch company said on Thursday.

'Everyone can have a say about new legislation': minister
Economic affairs minister Henk Kamp plans to increase public and company involvement in drawing up new rules, saying outside input will make laws easier to understand and improve the way they work.

Local Labour parties near airbases oppose JSF jet fighter plans
Local branches of the Labour party in areas where the JSF fighter jet will be stationed have called on their MPs to vote against buying the plane.

The Netherlands apologies for Indonesia executions
The Dutch ambassador to Indonesia has made a formal apology for all the summary executions carried out by the Dutch army between 1945 and 1947 in the former Dutch Indies.

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Greenpeace writes to supporters to say it has raised their 'donation'
Environmental group Greenpeace has annoyed some of its supporters in the Netherlands by writing to say their 'donations' are being increased, in some cases by as much as 100%.

Experts warn budget cuts may paralyse the security service
A number of experts on Wednesday warned MPs that planned cuts to spending on the Dutch security services could end up paralysing the AIVD.

Amsterdam plans to stop giving parking permits to polluting cars
Amsterdam city council is to start refusing to give parking permits to polluting cars and vans from mid-2014.

Almere to host new international-level ice stadium
New facilities to host international speed skating events will be built in Almere rather than Friesland after objectors lost their appeals for a rethink.

Utrecht presses ahead with 'legal' cannabis experiments
Utrecht city council is pressing ahead with two projects involving cannabis: one based on a private cultivation club and one to supply marijuana to people with psychiatric problems.

Traditional employee Christmas hamper out of favour
It may be over four months to Christmas but the traditional Christmas hamper is out of favour with employers, according to corporate gift firm Tintelingen on Wednesday.

Dutch exports grow for third month in a row
Dutch exports have grown for the third month in a row and were up 1.1% in July compared with a year ago, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS.

More Dutch money for Syrian refugees
The Netherlands has donated a further €17m to the United Nations' refugee organisation to help people fleeing the violence in Syria.

The Netherlands bids to be a host city for European football 2020
The Dutch football association has told the European football body Uefa the Netherlands ‘is available’ to the organisers of the 2020 European championships, the Volkskrant said on Wednesday.

Oranje qualifies for World Cup
A 2-0 away win in Andorra has given the Dutch football team a ticket to next year’s World Cup in Brazil with two qualification rounds still to go.

Senate to debate controversial pension reforms in a month
The senate will not deal with government plans to amend the corporate pension plan system until October 8, giving ministers four weeks to answer questions about the proposals, senators agreed on Tuesday evening.

Amsterdam cracks down on illegal hotels, shuts 120 this year
Amsterdam officials have shut down 120 illegal hotels and boarding houses so far this year, Nos television reports. Many were operating without a licence while others broke fire regulations.

Tuesday 10 September 2013

Rotterdam exam theft school to be closed down: minister
The Rotterdam secondary school at the centre of the theft of exam papers earlier this year is to lose its government funding and close down.

Rotterdam port welcomes first ship via the Arctic route
Rotterdam port made history on Tuesday when a Chinese freighter became the first ship to reach it using the Arctic route north of Russia.

Two arrested as police seize €2.5m in cash and 100 kilos of cocaine
Two people have been arrested and police have seized €2.5m in cash and 100 kilos of cocaine as part of an investigation into money laundering, the public prosecution department said on Tuesday.

New investment fund to support small and medium-sized businesses
A group of entrepreneurs, investors, companies and pension funds is setting up an investment fund to back small and medium-sized businesses with a good business plan for growth and investment.

VVD wants fingerprinting of everyone arriving in Schengen zone
Everyone arriving in Europe's open border area, known as the Schengen zone, should be fingerprinted at the border, according to the VVD's draft manifesto for next year's European elections.

CDA senators will not support pension plan in its current form
CDA senators will not support the government's current plans to reform the corporate pension system, Nos television reports on Tuesday.

Temp agencies trail general economic situation
Temp agencies will provide less work in 2014 because of low economic growth and continuing unemployment, ABN Amro economists said on Tuesday.

Amsterdam housing market attracts more young people
The number of young people setting up their first home in Amsterdam rose 9% between 2005 and 2010, while the number of students in student accommodation increased 30%, according to a new report.

ProRail scraps alpha, bravo communication method
Track operator ProRail is scrapping the use of the Nato phonetic alphabet for communications between train drivers and track supervisors, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday.

Yet another university ranking: this time with six Dutch entries
The latest in a string of university rankings puts six Dutch universities in the top 100 - this time the list was compiled by British organisation QS.

13% of office buildings are unoccupied
The Netherlands has the highest percentage of empty office buildings in Europe with 13% of offices unoccupied, according to Dutch university researchers.

Local councils face serious financial shortfalls
Local councils face a shortfall in their budgets of €6bn by 2017, which will force them to make major cuts in services, according to local government research centre Coelo.

ING forecasts end of Dutch recession in second half
Economists at financial services group ING are forecasting an end to the Dutch recession and a continuing revival in the economies of Europe and the US in the second half of 2013.

Minister backs 130 kph speed limit on much of the A2
Transport minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen backs raising the speed limit on long stretches of the A2 motorway to 130 kph.

Fyra battle between train maker and operators resumes
The Italian maker of the Frya high-speed train returns to court on Tuesday in a renewed effort to win access to three technical reports on the technical problems with the trains.

'Photographer Erwin Olaf to design Willem-Alexander euro coin'
Photographer Erwin Olaf has been picked to design the new euro coin featuring king Willem-Alexander, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday, quoting sources.

Monday 09 September 2013

School destroys 3,000 diaries featuring 'satanic' peace sign
A strict Protestant school group has destroyed 3,000 specially printed diaries for pupils because they feature a peace sign.  

EU labour migration in spotlight, minister presses on with 'contract'
Social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher is setting up a research project to look at claims Dutch people are being squeezed out of jobs by cheaper workers from eastern Europe.

Judges pull out of cases focusing on former justice ministry boss
Two court cases relating to the former secretary-general of the justice ministry are running into trouble because of a shortage of judges willing to take them, the Volkskrant reports on Monday.

The Dutch are among the happiest folk on earth
Despite the economic gloom and rising unemployment, the Dutch are among the happiest people in the world, according to the latest World Happiness Report.

Former Kidsweek deputy editor not guilty on child porn charges
The former deputy editor of a popular Dutch children’s magazine has been found not guilty of possessing child pornography.

Former PVV councillor launches Islamic party
A former councillor for the anti-Islam PVV in The Hague has launched a political party founded on Islamic principles.

Father and three sons dead in murder suicide
A man and his three young sons have been found dead in a holiday house in Drenthe in an apparent murder suicide.

Newly discovered Van Gogh painting unveiled in Amsterdam
A newly discovered large oil painting by Vincent van Gogh will go on show at Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum later this month.

Housing corporations are failing on student housing ambitions
Housing corporations are falling behind on their pledge to build an extra 16,000 student housing units by 2016, according to student union LSVb.

Online gambling firm fined for targeting Dutch punters
A Curaçao-based gambling company has become the first to be fined for offering online bingo and roulette to Dutch punters without a licence, Nos television reports.

Portugal is losing millions in taxes as multinationals go Dutch
Nineteen of the 20 biggest Portuguese multinationals are using a letterbox company in the Netherlands to reduce their tax bills in their home country, according to a new report by the centre for multinational research Somo.

Dutch media set up their own website for whistleblowers
Dutch national newspapers, broadcasters and news agencies have set up their own website for whistleblowers 'to make contact with the press in a secure environment'.

Army officer openly criticises defence minister
A major general in the Dutch army has written a damning letter to newspaper Trouw, warning defence minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert she must do more to explain her vision for the armed forces.

KPN's financial chief steps down for personal reasons
Telecom group KPN has lost its third chief financial officer in five years with the resignation of Eric Hageman for 'personal reasons'.

Sunday 08 September 2013

Polls put Wilders' PVV out on top, Labour slumps to record low
Support for the anti-immigration PVV continues to grow in the latest Maurice de Hond opinion poll, which puts Geert Wilders’ party on 32 seats – or around 21% of the vote.

Fewer Poles, more Germans come to the Netherlands via jobs agencies
The number of Polish nationals coming to the Netherlands via staffing agencies has gone down sharply over the past three years, according to sector umbrella group ABU.

Employers' leader urges senators to back pension changes
Employers' leader Bernard Wientjes on Sunday made a last ditch effort to persuade senators to pass controversial new pension legislation when it comes up for discussion in the upper house of parliament this week.

Saturday 07 September 2013

Schiphol airport police suspend officer as potential security risk
The military police at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport have suspended a Muslim woman because of fears she could be a danger to national security, the Telegraaf reports on Saturday.

Leeuwarden celebrates European city of culture victory
Leeuwarden saw off Maastricht and Eindhoven to be named European city of culture 2018 by a panel of European and Dutch experts.

Not all libraries should be closed: cabinet
The cabinet is planning to ensure people still have nearby access to a library, even if their own local branch is shutting down, Nos television reports.

US spy chief cancels visit to Dutch internet security conference
The controversial director of America's National Security Agency has cancelled a visit to the Netherlands next week because he is too busy, news agency ANP said.

Jobless locals rarely do seasonal work (update)
Unemployed locals rarely take on seasonal work in agriculture and horticulture, Trouw reports on Saturday after questioning job centres and local councils.

European commissioners too easy on migration problem: Asscher
Social affairs minsister Lodewijk Asscher says European commissioners Neelie Kroes and Laszlo Andor are trivialising his warning about low-skilled migration within the EU, the Volkskrant reports.

Friday 06 September 2013

Minister imposes maximum charge for a driving licence
Ministers on Friday voted in favour of a decision to set a maximum fee of €38.48 for a driving licence.

Transport inspectors look into serious incident near Zwolle
Transport ministry inspectors are looking into a serious incident in which a double-decker intercity train went through a red light, damaging a points system, news agency ANP reports.

Civil engineers Haskoning pull out of Israel water treatment project
Dutch civil engineering group HaskoningDHV has pulled out of a project to develop a waste water treatment plant in Jerusalem after the foreign ministry said it could conflict with international law.

Labour party now supports JSF fighter jet project: Nos
The Labour party has given up its opposition to the purchase of the JSF fighter jet and will support the project, ‘well-informed sources’ in The Hague have told Nos television.

Supreme Court says NL is responsible for 3 Srebrenica deaths
The Dutch state is responsible for the death of three Muslim men during the siege of Srebrenica during the Yugoslavia war in 1995, the Dutch supreme court said on Friday.

More than half big Dutch firms have one woman on their boards
The slow march by women into Dutch company boardrooms may be gathering pace, according to the latest issue of the Female Board Index, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

Rail fares set to rise 3.4% next year
Dutch railway company NS is planning to put ticket prices up 3.4% next year, news agency ANP said on Friday.

Compensation for people wrongly held in jail reaches €23m
Last year, over 11,000 people were given a cash pay-out for being locked up in jail without good reason, the AD reports on Friday.

Convicted terrorist Samir A released from jail
One of the Netherlands' most notorious terrorist suspects was released from jail on Friday after serving two thirds of his sentence for plotting attacks in the country.

Police identify 300 lone wolves, 15 are monitored round the clock
Dutch police have identified some 300 ‘dangerous loners’ and are continuously monitoring 15 of them because they could pose a serious threat to the public, according to media reports on Friday.

Cable firm Ziggo replaces Douwe Egberts coffee in blue chip index
Cable company Ziggo will join Amsterdam’s blue-chip AEX index on September 23, following coffee firm Douwe Egberts’ €7.5bn takeover by German investment house Joh A Benchiser.

Thursday 05 September 2013

Party drug chemical traders warned they could be prosecuted
The public prosecution department has written to 22 companies which sell a key ingredient in the party drug GHB to say they face legal action unless they stop.

Decision to scrap €2,000 tax credit for higher earners under fire
The government's apparent decision to scrap a €2,000 tax credit for people earning more than €56,000 a year has been criticised by VVD supporters and other politicians.

No plans to increase Syrian refugee quota: minister
The Netherlands has no plans to admit more refugees from Syria than already agreed, the Telegraaf quotes junior justice minister Fred Teeven as saying.

Inflation falls but remains double eurozone average
The Dutch rate of inflation fell to 2.8% in August after hitting a five-year high of 3.1% in July, says national statistics office CBS.

Dutch police poised to use sniffer rats to find out who fired a gun
Rotterdam police are hoping to become the first in the world to use rats to investigate shooting incidents because specially-trained sniffer rodents can be used to identify gunpowder traces, the Volkskrant reports on Thursday.

Multinationals snub Dutch MPs' tax evasion inquiry panel: Volkskrant
Efforts by Dutch MPs to find out more about multinational tax evasion via the Netherlands appear to have flopped, with just one out of five invitees agreeing to attend a parliamentary hearing.

More accusations levelled at meat industry: now it's 'better life' fraud
One of Europe's biggest meat processing firms is selling factory-farmed meat as more expensive product with a ‘better life’ label, current affairs show Zembla will claim on Thursday night.

Amsterdam moves 'neighbours from hell' to container dwelling
A problem family from Amsterdam Noord has been evicted from its home and moved to a new dwelling, constructed out of containers on a piece of wasteland to the east of the city.

Wednesday 04 September 2013

Dutch secret service has no 'hard evidence' about Syria gas attack
Dutch security officials have no hard evidence the Assad regime in Syria carried out a poison gas attack on Damascus last month, MPs leaving a special briefing on Wednesday told reporters.

Primary schools' test scores to be published
Primary schools have lost their legal campaign to stop the education ministry publishing their Cito test results - the exam taken by most children in their final year of lower school.

Amsterdam council makes 'moral appeal' to shopkeepers over fur
Amsterdam council is making a 'moral appeal' to the city's retailers to avoid selling fur and wants fur-free clothes shops to make this clearer to the public.

Food industry, MPs shocked by contaminated meat claims
Claims by a television programme that 60% of carcasses in Dutch abattoirs are contaminated by faeces were described as 'shocking' and 'unacceptable' by MPs on Wednesday.

New earthquake in Groningen
An earthquake measuring 2.8 on the Richter scale hit the north-east of Groningen on Tuesday night, causing some minor structural damage.

More companies gear up for exports
The number of Dutch firms exporting goods or services abroad reached 126,000 last year, up 10,000 on 2011, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS.

Minister pledges to find 12,500 missing criminals
Junior justice minister Fred Teeven has told MPs he will do his utmost to track down 12,500 convicted criminals who still have to serve a prison term.

Losses due to internet banking fraud plunge: Dutch banks
The amount of damage caused by internet banking fraud has gone down 58% compared with the second half of 2012, according to new figures from the Dutch banking association.

The Netherlands slips out of Top 5 competitive economies ranking
The Netherlands has fallen three places to number eight in the latest World Economic Forum ranking of the world's most competitive economies.

Tuesday 03 September 2013

Plans to scrap freelance tax break dropped
Government plans to scrap the tax break for the self-employed (zzp-ers) have been dropped, sources in The Hague have told website Lef Moet Lonen.

Match-fixing rare in the Netherlands
A major report for the sports ministry shows that match and race-fixing in the Netherlands is extremely rare, with just 4% of players saying they had been approached to throw a game or a race.

Former PVV parliamentarian is to join the detective force
Hero Brinkman, an MP for the anti-immigration party PVV until early 2012, is undergoing a security assessment before restarting work with Amsterdam's detective force, the police department said on Tuesday.

Summer's back: forecasters say it will be up to 30 Celsius
Temperatures of up to 30 Celsius are expected in the southeast of the Netherlands later this week, as high summer returns.

Shake-up for child-based benefit system, cuts will save €800m
The government is to press ahead with the simplification of child-based benefits, bringing the number down from 11 to four and sharply reducing the payments for older children.

Swimming organisations argue about crawl and breast stroke
A war of words has broken out between the two organisations responsible for swimming over which strokes are best for teaching children to swim.

We must embrace change for a secure future: prime minister
The Netherlands will have to accept technological change to ensure a prosperous future, prime minister Mark Rutte said in a major speech in Amsterdam on Monday night.

Hundreds of homeless refused help by councils
Hundreds of homeless people are being dumped on the streets each year because councils refuse to help them even though the law says they must be given at least temporary bed and food.

'German green energy may hurt Dutch sustainability efforts'
Germany's drive to boost its reliance on sustainable energy could end up hurting Dutch efforts to invest more in sun, wind and water power, according to ABN Amro economists.

New youth law bad for families and workers: union
New legislation which will see councils taking over responsibility for youth social work will fail both problem families and those working in the system, according to research published on Tuesday.

Queen Máxima to sit next to king for his first budget day speech
Queen Máxima will break new ground on September 17 when she sits next to king Willem-Alexander as he gives his first speech from the throne ahead of the 2014 budget presentation.

Pilot bowel cancer testing programme begins for the over 55s
The pilot phase of the bowel cancer test being introduced by the health ministry began on Tuesday in the Zuidwest-Nederland region.

Illicit savings abroad? Minister suspends fine until July 2014
People with illicit savings in foreign bank accounts have been given until July 1, 2014 to notify the tax office and escape a fine.

Pension fund coverage ratio shows no improvement
Dutch pension funds had an average coverage ratio of 104% at the end of August, with no improvement on the July ratio, according to figures published on Tuesday by human resources advisory group Aon Hewitt.

Monday 02 September 2013

Teachers' pay freeze may be over after four years
Teaching unions, employers and the education ministry have signed a deal which will give teachers a pay rise next year after a 4-year pay freeze, website nu.nl reports on Monday.

Dutch football clubs earn record income from selling players
With just a few hours to go before the close of the football transfer window, Dutch clubs have earned over €100m from selling players, according to website transfermarkt.de.

Eight in 10 oppose opening borders to Romanians, Bulgarians: PVV poll
Some 81% of the Dutch are opposed to opening the borders to people from Romania and Bulgaria next year, according to a Maurice de Hond poll carried out on behalf of the anti-immigration PVV.

Former PVV politician Hero Brinkman rejoins the police
Hero Brinkman, a former parliamentarian for the anti-immigration PVV, has rejoined Amsterdam's police force, news agency ANP said on Monday.

Woman fights to join men-only river fishing co-op
A woman from the Brabant town of Woudrichem is going to court in an effort to force her local men-only fishing cooperative to admit her as a member.

Interactive map shows 9,866,539 buildings by age
A developer at Amsterdam's Waag Society, an institute for art, science and technology, has produced an interactive map showing the Netherlands' 9,866,539 buildings according to their age.

Dutch Nazi goes on trial in Germany for murder 70 years ago
A Dutch national who joined the Nazi Waffen SS and now lives in Germany goes on trial on Monday charged with the 1944 murder of a Dutch resistance fighter, the NRC reports.

New rules for flexible contracts and jobless benefit take shape
Plans to give new rights to workers on flexible and short-term contracts should come into practice in 2015, if draft legislation becomes law.

Talented school pupils need more challenges: minister
The cabinet is urging schools to do more to challenge talented pupils rather than just focus on the average child, the Volkskrant reports on Monday.

Counter-terrorism body assesses risks of KPN takeover
The national counter-terrorism unit is assessing the potential risks attached to a takeover of telecom company KPN by América Móvil, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Monday.

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