Sunday 07 June 2020

Anti-racism demos continue across the Netherlands, Eindhoven next up

Anti-racism demos continue across the Netherlands, Eindhoven next up

Thousands of demonstrators took part in anti-racism rallies in the rain in Utrecht, Nijmegen and Enschede on Friday and more gatherings are planned for the next few days. In Utrecht some 3,500 people assembled at the Jaarbeurs square near the main railway station, but officials used social media at around 7pm to urge people to stop coming because the space was too full. In Nijmegen, demonstrators gathered in the Goffert park, where tape had been stretched out to show people... More >

Mass testing is finding new Covid-19 cases

The official coronavirus death toll in the Netherlands rose by six to 6,011 on Saturday, the public health institute RIVM said in its latest update. A further three people have been hospitalised with the virus and 183 people have tested positive. In total, 47,335 people in the Netherlands have been confirmed to have the virus. The number of daily positive tests has gone up considerably since June 1, when everyone with symptoms was given the green light to be checked... More >

Minister agrees to give wardens batons

Local council street wardens are to be given the right to carry short batons as protection, under new rules being drawn up by justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus. The wardens, known as boas in Dutch, will be equipped with batons if local mayors and police chiefs think it necessary, Grapperhaus said in a briefing to MPs. The draft legislation will be finalised before the summer and could be implemented ‘within several months’. The wardens have been campaigning to be given weapons,... More >

€1.5bn to shore up public transport firms

The cabinet has set aside some €1.5bn as support for public transport companies which have seen passenger numbers tumble since the start of the coronavirus crisis. ‘We have asked public transport firms to run a full service again to help open up the economy,’ transport minister Stientje van Veldhoven said in a briefing. ‘Passenger numbers are still limited, so companies are running at a loss.’ The compensation package will account for 93% of the costs and is payable on condition... More >

Farmers want more non-EU seasonal workers

Farming organistion LTO Nederland wants parliament to make it easier to bring seasonal workers to the Netherlands from outside the EU, and hopes the issue will be a major theme at next year’s general election. The organisation says it wants the next government to introduce a work permit of up to nine months so that non-EU nationals can come to the Netherlands to work, particularly for the harvest. Strict rules on salaries and skill shortages currently apply to non-EU work... More >

Tens of thousands of mink to be gassed

Officials and farm workers on Saturday began the process of gassing thousands of mink on 10 fur farms where coronavirus has been found, and which may have spread from the animals to humans. On Friday evening, judges ruled that the farm clearance could go ahead, despite protests by animal rights groups. They said the animals should be placed in quarantine. But the court ruled that killing all the animals was the only option to guarantee public safety. On two farms,... More >

Privacy concerns about café heath checks

A Dutch MEP has asked the European Data Protection Board if it is legal for cafés and restaurants to ask their customers detailed questions about their personal health and record their answers. Sophie in ‘t Veld points out that under coronavirus limitation rules in many EU countries, consumers are being asked for their health and contact details before they are allowed to make a booking. ‘A table in a restaurant, a pint in the pub, a ticket to the museum:... More >

Wild swimming in the Amstel river proposed

With long summer months ahead and limited possibilities of foreign holidays, councillors in Amsterdam have proposed designating official ‘wild swimming’ points along the Amstel river. Jan-Bert Vroege, a D66 councillor and local party water spokesman told that the city needs to provide and advertise more official safe spots for children and adults to swim in natural water, to provide a vital, open leisure facility while maintaining social distancing. He has made a proposal to create the first official swimming... More >

Hundreds of Nigerian refugees vanish in NL

Almost 1,000 Nigerian refugees disappeared from Dutch asylum centres last year, and there are serious indications many of them have been trafficked, according to an investigation by radio programme Argos. The figures, obtained from the refugee settlement agency COA using freedom of information legislation, show pregnant women are among those who vanished, Argos said. The disappearances coincide with a sharp rise in the number of Nigerians applying for asylum in the Netherlands – a total of 2,461 last year. While... More >

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