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November 2013

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Friday 29 November 2013

Mayor gives failed refugees until December 3 to leave building
A group of around 200 failed asylum seekers must leave a building they have taken over on Amsterdam's Weteringschans by December 3 or face eviction, the city's mayor Eberhard van der Laan said on Friday.

Chinese talent show candidate did not like Gordon's jokes
A Chinese talent show contestant who was the butt of jokes by panel member Gordon has finally broken his silence, saying he did not like the jokes made at his expense.

Labour market reforms will generate 20,000 jobs, says think-tank
The government's macro-economic think-tank CPB expects planned reforms to the labour market to generate an extra 20,000 jobs, website nu.nl said on Friday.

Fewer Dutch bankers earn more than €1m, NL bucks European trend
In total, 27 bankers earned more than €1m in the Netherlands last year, compared with 36 in 2011, according to figures from European banking regulator EBA.

British PM's calls for EU migration restrictions are 'interesting': Asscher
Dutch social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher thinks British calls for limits to EU migration are ‘potentially interesting’ and plans to study them further, the Telegraaf reports on Friday.

Google breaks Dutch privacy laws, says data protection watchdog
The Dutch data protection agency CBP has accused internet service Google of breaking Dutch privacy laws with its revised privacy rules which were introduced in March.

Sixty people lose childcare jobs after screening
So far 60 people have lost their official authorisation to work with children since continuous background checks were introduced in March, according to social affairs ministry figures.

KLM to switch European flights to cheaper arm Cityhopper
Dutch airline KLM plans to leave all inter-European flights in the hands of its subsidiary KLM Cityhopper within five years, in an effort to save €20m.

Cancer treatment threatens to become unaffordable (update)
The cost of caring for cancer patients threatens to become unaffordable, leading doctors, economists and patient groups to call for a ceiling on medicine costs, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

Credit rating agency S&P downgrades the Netherlands to AA+
Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s has lowered its status for the Netherlands from AAA to AA+ with a ‘stable’ outlook. The agency said in February its outlook for the Netherlands was negative.

Thursday 28 November 2013

Laptops outstrip pcs as Dutch homes become increasingly digital
Nearly all Dutch households now have a fixed or mobile internet connection and 45% have a tablet computer, according to new figures from national statistics office CBS.

Think-tank sees no reason to change economic forecasts
The government’s macro-economic forecasting agency sees no reason to amend economic forecasts made in September which said the Dutch economy will grow by 0.5% next year.

Employers worried about new sick pay rules for flexible workers
Employers are extremely worried about new laws on sick pay aimed at giving more rights to people on flexible contracts, says staffing agency association ABU.

Guards shoot prisoner who tries to escape during hospital visit
Prison guards on Thursday shot a prisoner who attempted to escape during a hospital visit.

Oranje scrapes through to make cricket World T20 line-up
The Netherlands has qualified for next year’s cricket World Twenty20 tournament in Bangladesh after beating Scotland in the play-offs.

More weather records tumble, autumn was one of the wettest
This autumn is set to be the third wettest on record with an average of 345 millimetres of rain, according to weather bureau weeronline.

RTL gets official complaint about Gordon's Chinese jokes
The Amsterdam discrimination register has made a formal complaint to broadcaster RTL Nederland about comments made by Dutch celebrity Gordon about a Chinese contestant in a tv talent show.

Aggression against railway staff increases
Dutch railway personnel reported being the victim of aggressive behaviour by passengers over 8,100 times last year, a rise of almost 16% on 2011.

Electronic cigarettes are addictive, dangerous to health: RIVM (update)
Claims that electronic cigarettes are less harmful than ordinary cigarettes are untrue, according to the Dutch public health institute RIVM in Thursday’s AD.

Doctors, hospitals don't warn patients their treatment may cost money
Doctors and hospitals do not warn patients they may have to pay for part of their treatment at some hospitals because they have a budget health insurance policy, according to RTL news.

Unions, social security chiefs warn on 'work for welfare' plan
The government’s plan to ensure people claiming welfare benefits do something for society in return will put pressure on regular jobs, according to the country’s biggest trade union group.

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Dutch shrimp firm and EU market leader fined €27m for cartel forming
Three Dutch and one German shrimp processing firms have ben fined a total €28.7m for cartel forming, with the biggest fine - €27m – going to Heiploeg.

Groningen gas earthquakes damage listed buildings
Earthquakes in Groningen have damaged 69 out of the 100 listed buildings in the northern part of the province, according to the cultural heritage service Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed.

Ryanair sets its sights on Schiphol
Budget airline Ryanair is hoping to add Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport to its list of destinations within five years, chief executive Michael O’Leary told a news conference in Belgium on Wednesday.

Electrical goods shop blunders with 'negro' email
An unnamed electronics company in Arnhem hit the headlines on Wednesday after mistakenly sending a rejected job hopeful an email saying he was ‘nothing’ because of his ‘dark colour’.

Consumer group, banks unify banking fraud compensation rules
The Dutch consumers' association Consumentenbond has worked with banks to ensure more of the responsibility for internet banking fraud is placed with the banks' clients, the Parool claimed this week.

44,000 people caught driving under the influence of drink, drugs last year
Some 44,000 people a year are caught driving under the influence of drink or drugs in the Netherlands, according to a new report.

Ruling parties now have doubts about scrapping blasphemy law
Both the Netherlands' ruling parties now have their doubts about plans to scrap blasphemy from the statute books, Nos television reports on Wednesday.

Healthcare freedom of choice under threat, entire hospitals excluded
Health insurance companies are limiting patient access to some hospitals, and some policyholders will have to pay a contribution to be treated in hospitals with a better reputation, according to research by the AD and insurance comparison website Independer.

Doctors' smartphones can spread infection
The smartphones used by doctors are a source of hospital infections and can spread the MRSA and other viruses, according to a study published in medical magazine Medisch Contact.

Ajax, down to 10 men, beat Barcelona in Champions League tie
Amsterdam football club Ajax ended Barcelona's unbeaten record in this year's Champion's League competition with a 2-1 win in the Dutch capital on Tuesday night.

Rotterdam housing corporations agree to social engineering
Four Rotterdam housing corporations have agreed to stop people without jobs or who have a history as problem tenants moving to parts of the city, in an effort to halt further social decline in some areas.

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Dutch pensioners are best off, and just 1.4% live in poverty: OECD
Dutch pensioners enjoy a proportionately higher pension than the over 65s in any other developed country, according to new research from the OECD.

Coalition takes on bankers' bonuses, limits them to 20% of salary
Finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem on Tuesday presented his plans for financial sector pay to parliament, including a 20% ceiling on bankers' bonuses in the Netherlands.

Tax office wants access to mobile phone parking info, court says no
A company which enables people to pay for car parking by mobile phone does not have to hand over client details to the tax office, a court in Den Bosch ruled on Tuesday.

Labour fudge position on illegal immigrant arrest quotas
The Labour party will not call on junior justice minister Fred Teeven to abandon police quotas on illegal immigrant arrests, website nu.nl said on Tuesday.

Kunsthal theft suspects found guilty, sentenced to nearly seven years jail
Two of the suspects in the Rotterdam Kunsthal art theft were sentenced to six years and eight months in prison on Tuesday by a Bucharest court.

Social housing income limit set to rise
MPs are likely to vote in favour of a motion to increase the income limit for social housing to €38,000 a year, according to media reports on Tuesday.

More people exempt from health insurance on religious grounds
The number of people applying for exemption from the legal requirement to have health insurance rose 14% in 2013, according to the health ministry.

NS misses out nine stations every day to keep delays down
Dutch railway company NS does not stop at average of nine scheduled stations every day in order to prevent large-scale delays, junior transport minister Wilma Mansveld told parliament in a briefing on Tuesday.

The Dutch have cut down on cleaning and have more spare time
The Dutch spent an average of 41.2 hours a week on work, education, doing household tasks and on care duties in 2011, down around 90 minutes on 2006.

Car ownership papers to become smart card
Car ownership papers will be replaced by smart cards from January 1, Nos television reports on Tuesday.

High street stores deny rejecting Bangladesh textile deal
High street chains Prénatal and Coolcat are considering whether to sign the clothing industry agreement on improving wages and working conditions for textile workers, Nos television said on Tuesday.

Courts take the lead on flexible work contracts
The courts are more likely to find in favour of temporary workers who go to court because of a legal conflict over their contract than their employers, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday.

Industrial production will grow next year: report
Industrial production will grow in 2014, particularly for companies which export, economists at the ABN Amro bank are forecasting in a report published on Tuesday.

Dutch foreign minister warns Afghanistan on stoning
Afghanistan will be risking its relationship with the Netherlands if it introduces stoning as punishment for adultery, foreign affairs minister Frans Timmermans told tv news programme Nieuwsuur on Monday evening.

Reprieve for four consulates scheduled for closure
Dutch consulates in Munich, Chicago, Antwerp and Milan are to remain open now a majority of MPs support a D66 plan to reduce planned consulate closures, broadcaster Nos reports.

Local property taxes will not exceed national norm in 2014
Local property taxes (ozb) will not rise more than the 2.45% agreed with the government for 2014, according to home owners' lobby group VEH.

Authorities fear the rise of 'pop jihad'
European security services are concerned about what the Volkskrant calls ‘pop jihadists’ – Muslim youngsters who flirt with terrorist symbols and spread them using social media.

Charities have to pay councils for door-to-door collection permits
Charities are having to pay hundreds of euros in permits to run door-to-door collections in some parts of the Netherlands, the Telegraaf reports on Tuesday.

Police officers often face work-related violence when off-duty
Around one-third of police officers are physically attacked, threatened or intimidated when they are off duty, tv programme Eenvandaag reported on Monday evening.

Monday 25 November 2013

Holland Casino to shed more jobs
Dutch state-owned casino group Holland Casino is cutting one in three of its head office jobs as part of a new strategy to decentralise operations.

Nuclear security summit will be biggest ever in the Netherlands
The two-day nuclear security summit hosted in The Hague next year is the biggest international conference ever held in the Netherlands, according to foreign minister Frans Timmermans.

Ilse DeLange and Waylon form duo as Dutch Eurovision entry
Country singer Ilse DeLange and Dutch Motown signing Waylon will represent the Netherlands at next year’s Eurovision Song Festival in Copenhagen.

Over 100 Dutch restaurants have at least one Michelin star
The Netherlands has a new three-star restaurant in the latest Michelin listing for the Netherlands, taking the total to three - for a few weeks at least.

Vitesse retain Eredivisie lead
Arnhem side Vitesse remain top of the Dutch Eredivisie after Sunday’s 3-0 win over Go Ahead Eagles, helped by on-loan Chelsea duo Lucas Piazon and Gael Kakuta.

Transport minister under fire over motorway growth forecasts
Transport and infrastructure minister Melanie Schultz has based her decision to widen many of the country’s motorways on unrealistic traffic growth forecasts, according to research group CE Delft.

Celtic fans make 200 complaints of Dutch police violence
Fans of football club Celtic have made some 200 complaints about police violence prior to the Scottish side’s match against Ajax earlier earlier this month, news agency ANP reports.

'Dutch scientific researchers are becoming more innovative'
Dutch university researchers made 14 times more patent applications in 2009 than they did in 1980, according to the Rathenau Institute, which studies Dutch developments in science and technology.

Three Dutch high street chains under fire over textile workers' wages
Aid minister Lilianne Ploumen has attacked three Dutch clothing companies for failing to sign an international agreement to ensure textile workers in Bangladesh are paid properly and work in safe conditions.

Saturday 23 November 2013

Daughter of woman found dead after 10 years comes forward
The 74-year-old women who lay dead in her Rotterdam home for 10 years without anyone noticing has a daughter whom she gave birth to when she was 16, the AD said on Saturday.

America listened in to the Netherlands in 1946, MPs want answers
The American intelligence services have been listening in to the Netherlands since 1946, the NRC reported at the weekend, quoting documents obtained by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Portuguese tunnel workers will get their housing costs back
Some 59 Portuguese construction workers who were forced to pay €960 a month for housing and travel while working on a motorway tunnel near Maastricht are to have the money refunded.

Friday 22 November 2013

Sea tribunal orders release of Greenpeace activists and ship
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea has told Russia to release all 30 Greenpeace activists and the Dutch ship Arctic Sunrise on payment of a €3.6m bank guarantee.

Amnesty International Nederland to cut workforce by one-third
Nearly one-third of the 103 workers at Amnesty International Nederland are to lose their jobs as the human rights group copes with a 10% drop in income.

Minister refuses to hand over shale gas report papers
Economic affairs minister Henk Kamp is refusing to publish a concept report on the risks attached to drilling for shale gas in the Netherlands, says environmental group Milieudefensie.

Dutch tomato growers lead global exports
The Netherlands has overtaken Mexico to become the world’s biggest exporter of tomatoes, the AD reports on Friday.

Dentist takes patient's false teeth in lieu of payment
A Dutch dentist who confiscated a patient’s false teeth after he failed to pay his bills is in trouble with the national dentists' association for his unusual approach.

Family get back lost holiday snaps, 10 years later
A family from the Frisian village of Surhuisterveen who lost their digital camera in a river in Norway 10 years ago, have just received the photographs from a German tourist.

Building firms accused of exploiting foreign staff on tunnel (update)
Polish and Portuguese construction workers who are building the A2 motorway tunnel near Maastricht are being exploited by the consortium in charge of construction, according to the FNV trade union federation.

Dutch film showing at Russian gay film festival disrupted by bomb hoax
The screening of a Dutch film at a Russian gay film festival in St Petersburg on Thursday night was disrupted by a hoax bomb call, Nos television reports.

City centre parking out of favour, bays too small for modern cars
The number of hours people park their cars in city centres has fallen 10% since 2008, according to researchers at Rotterdam’s Erasmus University.

Elderly woman lay dead in Rotterdam home for 10 years (update)
The neighbours of a Rotterdam woman who lay dead in her home for 10 years have told Nos television they noticed nothing wrong.

Five Celtic supporters sentenced to up to two months in jail
Five supporters of Scottish football club Celtic have been sentenced to periods of up to two months in jail by a judge in Amsterdam.

Thursday 21 November 2013

Defence ministry buys four large unmanned aircraft for foreign roles
The Dutch defence ministry is buying four unmanned aircraft from an American company at a cost of up to €250m.

Young foreign footballer fails to qualify for expat 30% tax ruling
Talent alone is not enough to qualify foreign footballers in the Netherlands for the 30% expat tax ruling, a court in Den Bosch ruled on Thursday.

Watchdog clears Dutch mobile phone firms of price-fixing
The Dutch consumers' authority ACM has cleared the main Dutch mobile phone operators of cartel-forming and price-fixing after a two year investigation.

Two arrested for fish and mussel tax fraud
Two directors from a Zeeland fish and mussel wholesale firm have been arrested for multi-year fraud, public broadcaster Nos said on Thursday.

UN body calls for end to 'virulent intolerance' for Zwarte Piet critics
The UN group which became embroiled in the debate about the role of Zwarte Piet in the Sinterklaas celebrations says it is ‘deeply troubled by the virulent intolerance’ of people who could not understand critics of the character.

PVV votes against ending European parliament Strasburg trips
The four Dutch European parliamentarians for the anti-immigration PVV voted against a motion to stop the European parliament shifting between Brussels and Strasburg every month.

'Half of Eredivisie football clubs rely on external finance'
Half of the Dutch premier football division clubs rely on external financing to make transfers and several have set up 'player funds' to lure in outside cash, the Volkskrant reports on Thursday.

Jobless total falls unexpectedly
The official Dutch unemployment figure fell unexpectedly by 11,000 in October, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.

Bend in the road in Brabant is Holland's most dangerous place
A bend in a road in Noord-Brabant province is the most dangerous place in the country, the Volkskrant reports on Thursday.

Rotterdam council spent €1m paying private debts to health insurer
Rotterdam city council in 2011 paid almost €1m to health insurance company Zilveren Kruis to buy off the debts of around 1,000 social security benefit claimants.

Dutch foreign minister 'astounded' by Bosnian war criminal release
Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans is 'astounded' at the decision by the Bosnian authorities to release 10 men convicted of war crimes pending a re-trial.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Children's ombudsman criticises refugee amnesty grey area
Dozens of children are threatened with deportation because they were not under state supervision for the five years required under a child refugee amnesty, children’s ombudsman Marc Dullaert has told BNR radio.

'Nationalised bank SNS free to start mortgage price war'
Nationalised bank SNS has not been banned from competing with other banks on savings and mortgage interest rates by the European Commission, finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem confirmed on Wednesday.

Consumer confidence continues to improve
Consumer confidence in the Netherlands has continued to improve, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday.

Poor standards lead to closure of evangelical primary school
The education ministry is closing down an evangelical primary school in Rotterdam and Utrecht because of the extremely poor levels of education provided.

Food and product safety body merger was a failure: audit office
The merger of three government inspection services into a single food and product safety body NVWA was a failure, the national audit office said in a report on Wednesday.

Residential care group to slash jobs, work with volunteers
Residential care organisation Philadelphia Zorg is cutting its 7,600 workforce by 900 jobs over the next two years.

Russia releases Dutch Greenpeace activists on bail
Two Dutch activists with environmental organisation Greenpeace have been released on bail from prison in Russia.

Glow-in-the-dark cycle lane markings come a step closer
Road users' organisation ANWB and construction group Heijmans have put their weight behind Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde's plan to develop cycle lanes with light-emitting markings, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.

'Defence ministry needs 20,000 reservists over next seven years'
The armed forces have been left vulnerable by cuts and will need almost 20,000 reservists over the next seven years to fill the gaps, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.

Game show loser demands tv show pays up €5m
A man who claims nerves made him press the wrong button in a television game show which lost him €5m is demanding the show and production company Endemol come up with the cash.

Oranje closes football year without loss
The Dutch national football team held Colombia to a 0-0 draw in their friendly in Amsterdam on Tuesday night.

Sinterklaas spending set to top €100 per family
Shopkeepers expect their turnover to be boosted by between €510m and €515m this year thanks to the Sinterklaas festivities, the national retail council said on Wednesday

SNS makes formal complaint against whistleblower
Nationalised bank SNS Reaal is taking legal action against a former interim member of staff who leaked information about a possible conflict of interests at the bank's troubled property arm.

D66 Liberals to draft regulated marijuana production proposal
The D66 Liberal party, currently the second biggest party in the country in recent polls, is drawing up draft legislation for the regulated production of marijuana.

First proper frost hits, and there is sleet to come this afternoon
The temperature fell to as low as -5.5 Celsius in parts of the country overnight and roads north of Nijmegen are likely to be slippery in many places.

Christian parents call for school sex education tv show to be taken off air
Some 8,000 concerned parents have signed a petition calling for a sex education programme for primary school pupils to be taken off television.

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Lawyer fined for calling police officer an idiot
A lawyer who called a detective sukkel (idiot) during an interview has been fined €75 for ‘immaterial damages’ by a court in Breda, the NRC reports.

Main suspect in Kunsthal art theft faces 18 years in jail
One of the two main suspects in the Rotterdam Kunsthal art theft should be jailed for 18 years, the public prosecution department in Bucharest said on Tuesday.

German woman is mother of two abandoned babies
DNA tests have shown that a 25-year-old German woman is the mother of a baby boy abandoned in Roermond near the border with Germany in June.

OECD sees Dutch economy contracting next year
The Dutch economy remains weak and will contract by 0.1% next year, according to new forecasts from the OECD.

Community service for Leiden school shooting threat youth
The 19-year-old who made an online threat to shoot a teacher and pupils at a school in Leiden in April has been sentenced to 150 hours of community service.

Upper income level for social housing should be raised: Labour
The ruling Labour party wants to raise the current €34,000 income level for rent-controlled housing to €43,000, Trouw reports.

Euthanasia declaration should be renewed regularly
A written euthanasia declaration should be renewed regularly to give doctors more certainty about their patients' wishes, six doctors and scientists told Trouw on Tuesday.

'Praise and criticism for Dutch plan to cut size of EU commission'
The Dutch proposal to cut the size of the European Commission has been both supported and criticised in various EU member states, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday.

Rabobank executive departed to appease local branches
The departure of Rabobank executive Sipko Schat was necessary to appease the fury of local branch managers, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Tuesday.

Some traffic offences are set to become crimes
Some traffic offences should fall under the criminal justice system so that repeat offenders can face tougher punishment, says justice minister Ivo Opstelten.

Campaign for Philippines typhoon victims raises €18.5m
Monday’s broadcast marathon to raise money for the relief effort in the Philippines took the total donated by the Dutch to €18.5m, or just over a euro per head of the population.

Labour MP to vote against purchase of joint strike fighter
Labour MP Lutz Jacobi will on Tuesday vote against the purchase of the JSF jet fighter when a motion comes before parliament later on Tuesday.

DSM to spin off pharmaceuticals arm and create new firm with JLL
Specialty chemicals and vitamins group DSM is spinning off its pharmaceuticals arm to create a $2.6bn new company in a joint venture with private equity group JLL.

Monday 18 November 2013

Libor scandal claims second executive at Rabobank
The Rabobank executive in charge of the department where bankers were embroiled in an interest rate fixing scandal has resigned.

VVD provincial politician faces jail for corruption
A prominent VVD politician should be jailed for four years for corruption, money laundering and fraud while working for Noord-Holland provincial council, the public prosecution department said on Monday.

Countdown begins to higher age limit to buy cigarettes and beer
Supermarkets are to ask clients they suspect of being under the age of 25 to prove their age if they want to buy cigarettes and alcohol from next year.

Extra water tax will hit swimming pools hard
Dozens of swimming pools may be forced to close because of extra government taxes and tougher rules on water quality, the AD reports on Monday.

VVD MPs line up demands for justice ministry debate
MPs from the ruling right-wing Liberal VVD want the government to get tough on potential internet-based child abuse and to make more use of powers to deport criminal European nationals, according to media reports on Monday.

Consumer group warns of fake discount deals in toy shops
Many toy shops are trying to lure in customers ahead of the Sinterklaas celebrations with fake special offers on toys, the consumers' association Consumentenbond said on Monday.

Dutch broadcasters unite to raise money for the Philippines
The Netherlands on Monday is holding a national action day to raise money to help victims of the recent typhoon in the Philippines.

Ministers agree to higher fees for honours students
Ministers have finally agreed to allow universities to experiment with higher fees for students taking honours courses.

Scientific articles must be free for everyone to read: minister
Scientific articles written by Dutch researchers must be accessible for everyone to read free of charge from 2016, says junior education minister Sander Dekker.

Sunday 17 November 2013

Chilly weather on its way
The first half of November may have been warm and wet, but the second half will be cold and dry, according to weather forecasters.

Participatiesamenleving is new word of the year
Participatiesamenleving – participation society – has been voted word of the year by members of the Dutch language expert’s association Genootschap Onze Taal.

Saturday 16 November 2013

45,000 celebrate Sinterklaas arrrival in Groningen
The arrival of Sinterklaas in Groningen was attended by some 45,000 people and there were no protests about the inclusion of Zwarte Piet in the parade, Nos television said on Saturday.

Cabinet tax boost plan under threat, fails to tempt company owners
The finance ministry's plan to cut the 25% tax which limited company owners have to pay on dividends they take out of their company may well backfire, the Financieele Dagblad reports at the weekend.

Amsterdam mayor to get tough on Ajax football hooligans
Amsterdam's mayor Eberhard van der Laan is planning to get tough on known Ajax football hooligans by forcing them to report to the police during the club's European away games.

Friday 15 November 2013

Dutch national arrested in Belgium for preparing attacks
A 23-year-old Dutch national has been arrested in Belgium because he was involved in ‘concrete preparations’ for terror attacks, RTL reported on Friday.

Amsterdam cannabis cafes near schools must close during the day
All Amsterdam cannabis cafes within 250 metres of a secondary school will have to close their doors during school hours from January next year, the Parool reports on Friday.

Public and commercial broadcasters unite with view-on-demand service
The Dutch public broadcasters have joined forces with commercial channels RTL and SBS to set up a joint platform to allow viewers to catch up on programmes they missed.

Brussels accepts Dutch 2014 budget despite lack of margin for error
The European Commission has accepted the Dutch government’s spending plans for 2014 even though there is no margin for error in cutting the budget deficit to 3%.

Dutch foreign minister calls for smaller European Commission
The European Union needs reform to create a ‘smaller, reformed commission’, Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans says in an article in Friday’s Financial Times.

Experts to assess royal art collection for stolen works
The Dutch royal family is to appoint an independent expert to assess if any of the art in their collection was stolen or taken from Jews prior to or during World War II.

Country singer Ilse DeLange on Dutch Eurovision hopeful list
Country singer Ilse DeLange is one of the candidates to represent the Netherlands at next year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen, the Telegraaf reports.

Two in three large councils back organised marijuana cultivation
In total, 26 of the Netherlands’ 38 largest local authority areas support some form of government legalised or organised marijuana production, Nos television says.

Minister to introduce more super-fast-track trials
The justice ministry is planning to introduce super-fast-track trials for more offences, justice ministry Ivo Opstelten has told MPs.

Prime minister makes two-day trip to China
Prime minister Mark Rutte has had talks with Chinese premier Li Kequiang on the first of a two-day visit to China.

Neurologists help writer to demystify creative process
Dutch novelist and columnist Arnon Grunberg is to undergo experiments to monitor his brain activity while writing a new novella.

Sinterklaas festivities start on Saturday (update)
There will be tighter security for the arrival of Sinterklaas in the Netherlands this weekend because of potential protests about the character Zwarte Piet, according to the AD.

Police pay funeral of youth shot dead at a train station last year
The police paid for the funeral of a 17-year-old youth shot dead on a railway station platform last year, the AD reports on Friday.

ABN Amro profits rise in Q3
Nationalised bank ABN Amro booked net profit up 11% in the third quarter of this year, due to a one-off of €101m.

Thursday 14 November 2013

Councils want to stop funding religious schools bus services
Local councils are urging junior education minister Sander Dekker to stop requiring them to pay for special buses to take primary school pupils to orthodox religious schools.

Private school head jailed for sex offences against autistic pupil
The director of a school for children with special needs has been given a one-year jail term, six months suspended, and 120 hours of community service for sexually abusing a pupil.

Almost one in three Dutch people has a chronic health condition
Five million of the Dutch population of 16.7 million have a chronic health condition, according to public health body RIVM.

The Dutch economy is out of recession - just (update)
The Dutch economy managed to creep out of recession and grew by 0.1% in the third quarter of this year compared with Q2, according to new estimates from the national statistics office CBS on Thursday.

Jewish groups concerned about Le Pen-Wilders alliance (update)
The Israel information centre CIDI in the Netherlands says it is concerned at the alliance between Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen, leader of the French nationalist party Front National.

Scots, Celtic fans shocked by police violence in Amsterdam
Fans of Scottish football club Celtic are angered by the violent way police acted ahead of last week’s Champions League game against Amsterdam’s Ajax, according to various media reports.

Motorways without lights much busier than suggested
Some of the motorways where street lighting has now been switched off to save money are much busier than the transport ministry claims, the Volkskrant said on Thursday.

Women arrested with €400,000 in cash in their bodies
Two women from Ecuador have been arrested at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport after they were found to be smuggling €400,000 in cash in their body cavities and luggage.

Ruling VVD loses support in all four local council elections
The ruling right-wing Liberal VVD did badly in the four local elections which took place on Wednesday but their coalition party Labour did better than opinion polls suggested.

Wednesday 13 November 2013

PVV, Front National announce alliance to combat 'Brussels monster'
The Netherlands' anti-immigration PVV and French far-right group Front National are to form an alliance within Europe to counteract the 'Brussels monster', the two party leaders said on Wednesday.

Television production company Endemol puts millions into online video
John de Mol's television production company Endemol is investing up to €30m in developing an international online video arm under the name Endemol Beyond.

Fyra's Amsterdam-Breda service to be renamed Intercity Direct
The high-speed train service between Amsterdam and Breda, operated by Fyra trains, is to be renamed the Intercity Direct service from next year.  

Rabobank economists see no growth in 2014
The Dutch economy will not grow in 2014 and unemployment will continue to rise, according to economists from Rabobank in their latest forecast.

Unique Neanderthal camp found during car park dig in Den Bosch
The remains of a Neanderthal camp have been found during the building of an underground car park in Den Bosch, local broadcaster Omroep Brabant said on Wednesday.

Books, perfume and toys drive up Sinterklaas inflation rate
A sack of presents for the St Nicholas celebrations next month will cost 2.6% more than last year, according to the traditional ING Sinterklaas inflation index.

Government gets tough on welfare benefits
Changes to the Dutch welfare law mean everyone will have to wait for weeks before they can claim the benefits, and people who refuse to look for work or who wear unsuitable clothing such as a burka will have their benefits stopped for three months.

Royal couple start 10-day visit to Dutch Caribbean islands
King Willem-Alexander and queen Máxima have begun a short visit to the Antillean islands as part of a ‘get to know you’ trip to the Dutch Caribbean.

The Dutch rich are getting richer says Quote magazine
The 500 richest Dutch people have together become €7bn richer over the past year, according to the latest edition of the Quote 500 rich list.

Elections in Friesland, Zuid Holland are test of coalition support
Some 250,000 Dutch voters go to the polls in four local authority areas on Wednesday in what is being seen as the first real popularity test for the current coalition.

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Dutch test self-driving cars, predict they'll be on sale by 2020
Amsterdam’s A10 ring road on Tuesday was the setting for a test of self-driving cars, developed by the TNO research institute and scientists from Delft University.

Senate backs ban of sale of cigarettes to the under-18s
The sale of cigarettes and rolling tobacco in the Netherlands will be restricted to people aged 18 and over from January 1 2014.

Public prosecutor is investigating Libor 'crimes', takes case 'seriously'
The public prosecution department has been angered by the finance minister’s efforts to get Rabobank to instigate legal proceedings against staff involved in the Libor interest rate scandal, the NRC reports.

Schuttersgilden put on cultural heritage list
Traditional militia groups in the province of Noord-Brabant are being put on the Dutch cultural heritage list, ensuring their annual festivals will continue.

Wilders commissions report into cost of Holland leaving the EU
PVV leader Geert Wilders has commissioned a British bureau to carry out new research into how much it would cost the Netherlands to leave the EU, the NRC reports on Tuesday.

Vodafone to invest millions in the Netherlands
Mobile phone firm Vodafone on Tuesday said it will invest €270m in its mobile and fixed networks in the Netherlands.

School year begins with thousands fewer primary pupils
The number of children attending primary school this academic year dropped by 21,000, 1.4% down on the 2012-2013 school year, according to figures from teaching union AOb.

Personal treatment for cancer moves a step closer
The search for a personal approach to treatment for individual cancer patients has moved a step closer thanks to Dutch research, Nos television reports on Tuesday.  

Finance minister, opposition talk about pension reform problems
Ministers are working on plans to force pension funds to lower their premiums, which they hope will win opposition support for a more sober corporate pension system.

'The Netherlands risks losing foreign investment to Britain'
The Netherlands may lose its advantage when it comes to attracting foreign investment because other countries such as Britain are making their tax regimes more attractive, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Tuesday.

Police to crack down on illegal firework orders online
People who order illegal fireworks online will be sent an email by the police containing a video message on the dangers of so-called firework bombs, RTL news reports on Tuesday.

Unqualified driving instructors continue giving lessons
Around 1,200 unqualified driving instructors are giving lessons to learner drivers, according to the driving schools' association VRB.

More health insurers cut premiums
The last of the bigger Dutch health insurance companies published their 2014 charges on Tuesday, with cuts of around €10 a month.

DE Master Blenders scraps 110 jobs
Coffee and tea company DE Master Blenders is scrapping 110 jobs, mainly at its headquarters in Amsterdam, the Telegraaf reports on Tuesday.

Fewer road deaths but no change in fatal accidents for cyclists
While fewer people are being killed in traffic accidents, there has been no reduction in the number of cyclists dying on the roads, website nu.nl reports on Tuesday.

Protestors jailed after tomato-throwing incident during royal visit
The two Russian protestors who threw a tomato at king Willem-Alexander and queen Máxima during their visit to Moscow have been jailed for 15 and 10 days.

Monday 11 November 2013

Finance minister wants Rabobank to press charges in Libor case
Finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has been pressing Rabobank to make a formal police complaint about members of staff involved in the Libor interest rate scandal, the NRC reports on Monday.

Chinese to become optional Dutch school subject
A pilot programme to teach Chinese in Dutch secondary schools is a success and pupils will soon be able to take final exams in the subject, junior education minister Sander Dekker said on Monday.

Minister says claims of racism against the Netherlands go too far
Social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher has dismissed recent claims that the political climate in the Netherlands is racist, saying the accusation goes too far.

Vitesse leads Eredivisie for first time in 13 years
Arnhem football club Vitesse are top of the premier league, 13 years after they last headed the Eredivisie.

One third of employers have cut staff perks
More than half of Dutch companies have reduced the secondary benefits enjoyed by their staff over the past three years or plan to do so, according to TNS Nipo research for the Financieele Dagblad.

Illicit savers admit to stashing away €552m, minister says
Over one thousand people with secret savings accounts abroad have admitted to having €552m stashed away, tax minister Frans Weekers said on Monday.

KPN foundation set to withdraw takeover defences
The foundation set up to protect telecoms group KPN against hostile takeovers plans to remove the takeover defences set up in August.

Top-up health policies cover less treatment but prices rise: research
Insurance companies are reducing the contents of their top-up health insurance policies, the Volkskrant reports on Monday.

Successful artists subsidised to perform concerts abroad: AD
Successful Dutch performers such as Caro Emerald and Wouter Hamel have had thousands of euros in subsidies for performances outside the Netherlands, the AD reports on Monday.

First official frost of the winter
The temperature dipped below freezing in several parts of the Netherlands overnight, making it the first official frost of the year, weather bureaus said on Monday.

Colombian drugs boss extradited to the Netherlands
A Colombian drugs lord wanted by the Dutch, Italian and Spanish police has been extradited to the Netherlands, the public prosecution department says.

Two killed in Gelderland cafe fire, possibly Polish workers
Two people, possibly Polish nationals, have been killed in an explosion and fire above a café in the Gelderland town of Brummen, Nos television reports.

Sunday 10 November 2013

Protestors who threw tomato at king face two weeks in jail
Two Russians who threw a tomato at king Willem-Alexander and queen Máxima during their visit to Moscow will spend up to two weeks in jail, news agency Novum quoted Russian agency Interfax as saying.

'Dutch security services plan NSA style phone and internet monitoring'
The Dutch secret services AIVD and MIVD plan to expand the scope of their monitoring services to cover internet and telephone traffic and ministers are sympathetic to the idea, broadcaster Nos reported at the weekend.

Le Pen to visit Wilders Wednesday, hold joint press conference
The leader of France's nationalist Front National is meeting Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch anti-Islam party PVV, on Wednesday and the two will hold a joint press conference about their plans for the European elections.

Friday 08 November 2013

The Netherlands should have stopped Greenpeace: Russian ministry
The Netherlands should have done more to stop the environmental organisation Greenpeace from taking action around a drilling rig in the Arctic sea in September, the Russian foreign ministry is quoted as saying by Dutch media on Friday.

Ethnic minority students still trail native Dutch
Despite an increase in government funding, the gap in the performance between native Dutch and ethnic minority students has increased, the NRC said on Friday.

Civil service pension fund out of danger zone in October
The giant ABP civil service pension fund boosted its assets to above the legally required minimum in October, helping to head off the threat of further pension cuts.

677 suicides in Dutch mental health institutions last year
In total, 677 people committed suicide while living in mental health institutions last year, up from 539 five years ago, according to health ministry figures.

500,000 Dutch traffic fines for German and Belgian drivers last year
Over 283,000 motorists driving cars with a German number plate were fined for minor traffic violations in the Netherlands last year, according to justice ministry figures.

Art gallery supervisory boards dominated by business, not culture
Museum supervisory board members today are much more likely to have a business background than to come from the cultural sector, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

The Netherlands' 92,000 millionaires remain optimistic, report shows
Dutch millionaires remain optimistic about their personal fortunes and their assets are stable despite the economic crisis, according to the latest Dutch Wealth Report 2013.

Europa League wins for both Dutch clubs
Both PSV Eindhoven and AZ of Alkmaar strengthened their chances of reaching the Europa League round of 32 on Thursday with home victories.

Utrecht to stage Tour de France Grand Départ in 2015
The Tour de France 2015 will start in Utrecht, the event’s director Christian Prudhomme told Nos television.

Thursday 07 November 2013

Limburg village siege ends in murder-suicide as father kills daughter
A father shot dead his young daughter and then committed suicide after a stand-off with police lasting several hours in the Limburg village of Reuver.

Father and daughter found dead after police end siege in Limburg
Two bodies have been found at a house in the Limburg village of Reuver where a man had taken a three-year-old girl hostage, police confirmed on Thursday afternoon.

Green group stops counting supermarket organic products
Environmental group Milieudefensie is to stop counting the number of different organic products sold in Dutch supermarkets because the survey 'has done its job'.

Inflation falls to three year low
The Dutch rate of inflation fell sharply to 1.6% in October, down from 2.4% in September and its lowest level since November 2010.

Customs officials find more drugs
Customs officials last year confiscated more drugs at Dutch ports, borders and airports, with cocaine accounting for the bulk of the seizures.

Girls account for most of the rise in student numbers
The enormous increase in the number of students at Dutch universities over the past 30 years is due almost entirely to girls, Trouw reports on Thursday.

Hema moves into health insurance
High street household goods store Hema is expanding its insurance activities by adding health insurance to its product range.

Ajax beat Celtic 1-0 in second Champions League meeting
A second half goal gave Amsterdam football club Ajax a 1-0 home victory over Scottish champions Celtic in the second leg of their Group H tie on Wednesday night.

Big banks criticised for lack of transparency on investments, ownership
The four biggest Dutch banks - ABN Amro, ING, Rabobank and SNS Bank – are not transparent about their investments, ownership structure, tax payments and lobby activities, according to a new report by charity Oxfam Novib.

Banks poised to cut salary-based maximum mortgage limits
The maximum amount people can borrow to buy a house based on their income is set to go down further next year, the Financieele Dagblad reports.

High-speed train maker wins right to suggest outside experts
Italian engineering group AnsaldoBreda has been give the green light to nominate a number of independent experts to research the problems surrounding high-speed train Fyra.

Labour MPs back purchase of joint strike fighter
The Labour party on Wednesday evening gave the green light to the purchase of the JSF jet fighter, although it is asking for additional guarantees.

Wednesday 06 November 2013

Eight Amsterdam police officers injured in football clashes
Eight Amsterdam police officers have been taken to hospital after clashes with football hooligans in town for tonight’s key Champions League match between Ajax and Scottish club Celtic.

MPs query fall-off in integration course students
There appears to have been a sharp drop in the number of new immigrants in the Netherlands taking integration courses, according to news weekly De Groene Amsterdammer.

Transport minister pledges action on speed limit confusion
Transport minister Melanie Schultz has pledged to try to find ways of making maximum speed limits more obvious, following a string of complaints by motorists and MPs.

Mayor fails in bid to limit child abuser's movements
Veenendaal’s mayor has failed in the first round of his efforts to use the civil courts to put limits on where a convicted child abuser can go during the day.

Zwarte Piet loses his gold earrings
The 600 Zwarte Piets accompanying Sinterklaas in his procession through Amsterdam this year will not be wearing the traditional golden earrings, the Parool said on Wednesday.

Arrest of Greenpeace 30 was illegal, lawyer tells International Tribunal
The 30 Greenpeace activists currently in jail in Russia were arrested illegally, Dutch lawyer René Lefeber told the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea on Wednesday.

Minister faces court case over NSA illegal tapping
Home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk is being taken to court by a group of individuals and organisations in connection with his handling of the NSA phone and internet taps.

ING profits down but progress made on state debt, insurance hive-off
Financial services group ING booked net profit down 85% in the third quarter of this year at €101m, due mainly to a sharp rise in one-off costs.

The Dutch may be among the happiest folk, but are also depressed
The Dutch are the most depressed people in Europe, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday quoting research by the University of Queensland.

Duinrell holiday park to house refugees over the winter
The Duinrell holiday park in Wassenaar is to be used to house 600 asylum seekers this winter, according to local broadcaster Omroep West.

Amstelveen's VVD mayor to move to Utrecht job
Jan van Zanen, the current mayor of Amstelveen, is set to take over from Aleid Wolfsen as Utrecht’s new mayor.

'More parents make obscure religion the reason for home schooling'
Parents who want to home school their children in the Netherlands are increasingly likely to claim in court they are members of an obscure religious group and no existing school meets their needs, the Telegraaf reports on Wednesday.

Apple comes clean over police requests for info about the Dutch
IT company Apple was requested to hand over to the authorities information about four Dutch nationals in the first six months of this year, according to report on such requests by the company itself.

Tuesday 05 November 2013

Russian asylum seekers can include anti-gay rules in their case: minister
Foreign minister Frans Timmermans is prepared to offer asylum to Russians who are discriminated against under Russia's anti-gay propaganda legislation.

Pre-school tests voted down by MPs
MPs on Tuesday voted against the introduction of tests for pre-school children, despite the education ministry's plans to introduce testing.

No spending cuts in 2014: finance minister
The Dutch government will not make any more spending cuts in 2014, even if the budget deficit is above the European Union norm of 3% of GDP, finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Tuesday afternoon.

Dutch-Turkish journalist jailed for life in Turkey for 'terrorism'
A Dutch-Turkish journalist has been jailed for life in Turkey for leading a left-wing group which Turkey says is a terrorist organisation.

More health insurers lower premiums
Health insurers VGZ/Univé announced sharply lower prices for their basic healthcare packages on Tuesday.

ABN Amro under fire for higher business rates
Small and medium-sized businesses are furious that the ABN Amro bank is raising its bank charges on January 1, the Telegraaf reports.

Youth in Leiden school shooting threat faces community service
The youth who sparked a manhunt after threatening to shoot his teacher and pupils at a school in Leiden earlier this year, should get a one-month suspended jail term, the public prosecution department said on Tuesday.

Slow skating style 'schoonrijden' on Dutch cultural heritage list
Schoonrijden, a slow-glide form of outdoor skating, sometimes in national costume, is to be included on the Dutch national heritage list.

Brussels somber on Dutch growth
The European Commission said on Tuesday it expects to see slight growth in the Dutch economy in 2014, but less than forecast earlier this year.

Schiphol overtakes Madrid as fourth busiest European airport
Amsterdam Schiphol airport overtook Madrid as Europe's fourth busiest airport during the past twelve months.

Dutch economy not future proof: report
The Netherlands should not focus on technical patents and high-tech spin-offs but on education and generating and circulating knowledge if it wants to be a leading economy in 20 years' time.

33% of workers are prepared to take a wage cut to keep their job
One in three workers is prepared to accept a pay cut if it means keeping their job, according to a survey published on Tuesday.

Young pilots take ABN Amro to court over traineeship debts
A group of 60 young pilots are taking ABN Amro to court because they cannot pay off the loans they took out to complete their education, Nos television reports on Tuesday.

DSM sees profits rise in third quarter
Speciality chemicals group DSM on Tuesday announced an increase in turnover of 4% in the third quarter and an increase in operating profit of 27% to €342m compared with the year-earlier period.

Insurer Interpolis scraps alternative medicine from healthcare add-ons
Health insurer Interpolis is to scrap a number of treatments, including homeopathy, from its top-up healthcare packages.

MPs want shared ownership rules for married couples to be changed
A majority of MPs wants to change the marriage law so that shared ownership only covers assets built up during the marriage.

Monday 04 November 2013

Dutch charity uses virtual child to lure potential online abusers
Dutch children’s charity Terre des Hommes has identified 1,000 adults who wanted to have webcam sex with a child in a sting operation which lasted for 2.5 months.

1.5 jobs is the popular option for working couples with kids
Couples with young children tend to split their working lives into one full-timer and one part-timer, the national statistics office CBS said on Monday.

Shot fired during drugs case at Breda court, no-one injured
A shot was fired in the public gallery in Breda’s main courtroom during a major drugs case on Monday morning. No-one was hurt during the incident but proceedings were halted pending a police investigation.

Wehkamp to build 'world's biggest online shopping' logistics centre
Mail order firm Wehkamp is planning to build a €100m distribution centre which it claims will be the biggest for online shopping in the world.

PostNL turnover drops as traditional mail continues to decline
Dutch postal firm PostNL booked turnover of just over €1bn in the third quarter of this year, down 1% on the year-earlier period.

Dutch armed forces are shrinking
The size of the Dutch armed forces is shrinking so rapidly there will be no need to make any compulsory redundancies because of government cutbacks, according to military unions on Monday.

MPs debate Fyra high-speed replacement plans
The replacement of the Fyra high-speed train service from Amsterdam to Brussels by more intercity trains and Thalys and Eurostar services is being debated by MPs on Monday.

Police chiefs condemn 'one way ticket to Berlin' stunt with Polish man
Police chiefs in the Oost-Nederland district have distanced themselves from the local Almelo force after officers placed a video on Facebook showing how they put a Polish repeat offender on a train with a one-way ticket to Germany.

Efforts to combat marijuana growing are failing: RTL
Efforts to combat organised marijuana production in the Netherlands are failing, RTL news reported at the weekend.

Pharmacists head for court over Achmea's drugs contracts
A group of pharmacists in Amsterdam are going to court this week to try to force health insurance firms to increase their payments, the Volkskrant reports on Monday.

Dutch researchers apply to FDA to run trials of sex pills for women
The American drugs authority FDA is this week considering a request from an Almere research institute to carry out phase three clinical trials on a pill to increase sexual desire in women, the Volkskrant reports on Monday.

ABN Amro increases fees for business customers
ABN Amro is increasing bank charges for its 350,000 business customers by up to 62%, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Monday.

Whirlwind rips through Dutch town
A whirlwind left a trail of damage over a two kilometre corridor in Wijk bij Duurstede, a small town southeast of Utrecht, on Saturday afternoon.

Saturday 02 November 2013

Desmond Tutu, Bono among guests at memorial service for prince Friso
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, U2 singer Bono and designers Viktor & Rolf were among the 900 guests at a memorial service for prince Friso in Delft on Saturday.

Friday 01 November 2013

Dutch soldiers to join UN mission in Mali
The Dutch government on Friday announced it will send soldiers, trainers and support staff to Mali as part of the UN's peace-keeping mission.

Measles vaccinations for children increase
The number of children between 3 and 16 years of age having their first measles vaccination reached 4,600 between May and October, up from 2,700 in the same period of last year.

Asylum seekers policy changes, more staff are needed
Asylum seekers are to be encouraged to take on voluntary work while they wait to hear the outcome of their application to stay in the Netherlands.

UPC announces more job losses
Dutch cable operator UPC on Friday announced the loss of around 100 jobs in an effort to 'simplify' the company.

More Limburg dikes need strengthening
More dikes than expected need to be strengthened along the Maas river in Limburg, according to a report presented on Friday.

ING, finance minister agree on US mortgages sale
Finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has reached agreement with ING on the divestment of the bank's American high-risk mortgage portfolio, the Financieele Dagblad reports.  

Traffic jams increase, road widening creates new bottlenecks
The number of traffic jams on Dutch roads increased by 10% in October, according to the traffic information service VID.

Car sales rose in October
The number of new cars sold in the Netherlands in October rose 37% compared with the year-earlier period.

Noord-Brabant province wants to drop the Noord
The province of Noord-Brabant wants to change its name to Brabant, the Telegraaf reports on Friday.

Rabobank sued by US mortgage company for Libor manipulation
American mortgage finance giant Fannie Mae is suing the Rabobank and eight others over their alleged participation in manipulating worldwide interest rates.

Film industry to get extra government money
The Dutch film industry is to receive an injection of public money to encourage producers to shoot their films in the Netherlands.

Greenpeace activist writes to the king for help
A Dutch Greenpeace activist imprisoned in Russia has written to king Willem-Alexander asking him for help.

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