Briefs: economic growth hits 2.6%

The Dutch economy grew 2.6% in the first six months of this year, the Financieele Dagblad reports on its website. In 2005, the economy grew by 1.6%, according to figures from national statistics office CBS published today. Employment growth reached 0.9% in the first half of 2006.

Terror extradition
The Dutch appeal court has backed the extradition of terror suspect Wesam al D. to the US. He is suspected of involvement in an attack on US troops in Iraq in 2003. Another suspect has already been found not guilty by the Dutch courts.
Polish parish
Polish immigrants in the southern Dutch province of Limburg are to get their own church and Polish-speaking priest. The Polish parish will be centred in the town of Meterik.
Free buses
Although a parliamentary majority is in favour of allowing pensioners free travel on public transport and want to start trial schemes this autumn it is unlikely these will go ahead pending the election. Two main parties, the Christian Democrats and the Liberals (VVD), are against free public transport.
Party party party
Some 74 parties have registered for the Dutch general election on 22 November, compared to 45 last time round. But to actually participate and have a realistic chance of electing an MP, parties have to gather at least 570 signatures and pay a deposit of €11,250.

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