Saturday 06 March 2021

Coronavirus lab capacity 'paid twice'

The government is paying eight large commercial laboratories for coronavirus testing capacity which is not being used, the Volkskrant reported on Friday. Instead, swabs taken in nationwide testing centres are being processed in small labs, often attached to hospitals, at further cost, the paper said. The paper bases its claims on its own research. The health minister sealed the contract with the eight labs to process 120,000 tests a day last autumn and the fee is payable whether or not... More >

Unused fast tests pile up in warehouses

Millions of fast coronavirus tests remain unused in warehouses because the government wants to take a ‘careful’ approach to using them, Trouw reported on Friday. The government has at least 26 million fast tests in stock but they won’t be used for months until the results of pilot projects have been assessed, the paper said. Fast tests have a role in reducing the impact of the coronavirus measures on society. They can be used, for example, to test pupils before... More >

Shock at fraud at state advocate firm

The news earlier this week that prestigious law firm Pels Rijcken, which represents the state in legal matters in its role of state advocate, was the victim of a large-scale fraud by former managing-partner Frank Oranje, has left confusion and shock in its wake, the Financieele Dagblad reports. Frank Oranje, who committed suicide last November, embezzled millions of euros from clients over a period of 10 years by transferring money to accounts outside the firm ‘in a cunning way whereby... More >

Noord Holland in court over data centres

The province of Noord-Holland is taking legal action against Microsoft for building a massive data centre along the A7 motorway in the latest twist in the province’s dispute with local council Hollands Kroon. The aim of the case is to establish who has the right to decide if data centres can be built and who is responsible for giving the licence. Hollands Kroon maintains that it is responsible for the decision-making progress, and has made attracting data centres a key... More >

Dutch to sue Fiat Chrysler over emissions

The Netherlands has submitted a complaint against Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) to the public prosecutions department for fiddling with the emissions reports for diesel-powered Jeeps, junior infrastructure minister Stientje van Veldhoven said. The infrastructure ministry is also investigating possible fraud involving the Suzuki Vitara, which has a FCA motor, the minister said. In addition, the vehicle licencing authority RDW is looking into potential problems with 14 more vehicles, following a European Court of Justice ruling last December, the minister said, in answer... More >

Dutch cancel online mission to Qatar

Trade minister Sigrid Kaag has postponed a digital trade mission to Qatar because of concerns that thousands of workers have died building stadiums and accommodation for next year’s football World Cup, the AD reported on Tuesday. The Guardian said last week that over 6,500 people from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have died during the construction process. Last week, Dutch MPs voted in favour of a motion stating that the king and prime minister should not attend the... More >