Landlord only wants to rent to 'people of Dutch origin'

Landlord only wants to rent to ‘people of Dutch origin’

An unnamed Moroccan couple are at the centre of a race row after a housing agency wrote to them telling them the landlord of a property only want to rent to 'people of Dutch origin'. The letting agent from Goedhart Makelaars in the village of Rijnsaterwoude says in the email, published on website, that he or she regrets having to tell them this. 'The landlord has chosen to rent to people of Dutch origin only,' the email states. Contacted by broadcaster NOS, the letting agent, who is not named, said: 'I could have told these people a load of rubbish but the owner was very explicit. We did not make this up. We don't have any issues with people.' Earlier this year there was another row in Amsterdam when letting agent told a prospective tenant people who ‘cook for hours using lots of herbs’ need not apply. ‘If you cook the ‘western way’ we can offer you a viewing on Friday,’ the agency said.  More >

Winter puts paid to Zwolle ice festival

Traffic accident claims rise 8%, but there are 20% more collisions with animals This year’s edition of Zwolle’s annual ice sculpture festival is in doubt after the roof of the giant marquee where the sculptors work collapsed under the weight of snow. The show should be held from December 23 to March 4 but organizer Marc van Aalst told local broadcaster RTV Oost it will now be very difficult to stage. The ice sculptors, many of whom have come from abroad, are now unable to complete their projects in the 50 ice chambers which were housed in the tent. ‘We hope to know whether the event will go ahead in a couple of days,’ Van Aalst said. ‘It’s a drama, but we’ve not yet given up.’ A spokesman for marquee hire firm Kontent Structures said the tent had caved in because of the combination of rain and heavy snow. The ice festival bills itself as the biggest in Europe, and says 275,000 kilos of ice and 275,000 kilos of snow are involved in creating the sculptures.  More >

Snow causes few problems on Tuesday

Traffic accident claims rise 8%, but there are 20% more collisions with animals Tuesday morning’s rush hour passed off without major incidents despite the remains of the snow causing slippery conditions in places, traffic information service VID said. Parts of the A7 were still closed because of the heavy snow which led to jams elsewhere and there were delays for drivers using the A4 motorway because of the risk of skidding. Train services were also virtually back to normal. NS had brought in staff overnight to make sure trains were where they needed to be to deal with the morning rush hour. Although the runways at Schiphol airport are now clear, KLM passengers are being warned many of them still face delays and cancellations. The Dutch flag carrier has scrapped 25 intercontinental and 105 European flights because aircraft and personnel have been stranded at other airports. Dozens of flights are also delayed, broadcaster NOS said. Passengers took to social media to complain about the long waits and lack of information. 'We've just had a KLM staff member (who was handing out water bottles after 6 hours we'd been waiting) scream at us "you took pictures, I'm going to get the police" really agitated. Is this the way your senior staff handles it #KLM? Really??' wrote one person on Twitter. Hundreds of people spend the night stranded at the airport. The KNVB football association said it expected all Tuesday evening’s Eredivisie and Jupiler league fixtures would go ahead.  More >

Quality of life in NL improves in 25 years

Less crime, more spending power, more jobs: the Netherlands is getting better The quality of life in the Netherlands has shown improvement over the past 25 years, with crime rates falling, life expectancy increasing, people having more money to spend and educational standards improving, according to a major new report. And, despite the apparent rise in anti-immigrant sentiment, attitudes to 'foreigners' have softened, with 31% of people thinking there are 'too many people with other nationalities' in the Netherlands today, compared with 49% in 1994. The government's socio-cultural think-tank SCP publishes its 'state of the nation' round-up every two years but this year has compared the situation in 2017 with that of the Netherlands 25 years ago. The report shows that every group in society has progressed since then. Women are more likely to have a job, the number of people with a college or university degree has doubled to 26% and people feel themselves to be safer. Some 85% of people are generally satisfied with their lives, a similar proportion to 25 years ago. At the same time, there are 'tough problems to crack and inequalities', the researchers say. The Netherlands is a wealthy country but the number of people living in poverty has risen from 5.7% in 1990 to 6.6% today. And, the SCP says, the problems facing a group of some 700,000 people, largely single parent families and immigrants living off welfare benefits, remain serious. 'The task for the future should be to ensure as many people as possible are able to participate fully in society,' the SCP said. 12 reasons to be cheerful about life in the Netherlands  More >

Integration policy to be overhauled

Traffic accident claims rise 8%, but there are 20% more collisions with animals Current government policy on integration needs a complete overhaul, junior social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees says in Tuesday’s Telegraaf. The minister told the paper he is shocked at the scale of the problems he has encountered since taking up office and intends to totally reform integration policy. In particular, Koolmees wants to introduce language lessons ‘from day one’. ‘We know that proficiency in Dutch is extremely important for a person’s options in the labour market. It is very simple. I want to raise the standard in order to increase people’s chances of finding work.’ As soon as people arrive in the Netherlands they will go through a sort of scan to determine more about them, their level of education and their experience. This will enable local authorities, who will be in charge of the process, to plan the best integration programme for the individual, he said. A spokesman for the social affairs ministry told that the new strategy still needs to be worked out in detail and will take time to implement but that the idea of screening would apply to all new arrivals who are required to go through the integration process. 'The idea is to see what everyone needs so that people who need more help will get it,' the spokesman said. 'There is a difference between what the refugee needs and, say, someone who has come here to work. It is about offering a tailor-made approach.' Quality The minister told the Telegraaf said he wants local councils to buy the courses from private agencies on the basis of quality, pointing out that the newcomers, who have to pay for the process themselves, are the ones suffering from poor teaching. Koolmees said that the problems would not be solved overnight. ‘There is clearly a serious problem but I see it as a challenge to better structure policy,’ he said. ‘But I not going to promise the earth. This will always remain a complicated subject.’  More >