Utrecht's tribute to dance maestro Avicii goes around the world

The Utrecht bell tribute to Swedish dj Avicii, who died last Friday in Muscat, Oman at the age of 28, has been broadcast around the world. The city's official carillonneur Malgosia Fiebig decided to play some of his most famous work at the weekend, and fans of the dj were suprised to hear numbers such as Wake Me Up, Without You and Hey Brother sounding out from the medieval Dom tower. CNN, the BBC and Swedish television are among the broadcasters who picked up the impromptu performance. Fiebig told the AD on Monday she had been overwhelmed by the reaction to the tribute, particularly because it put the spotlight on carillon-playing.   More >

Greenpeace invests in fund-raising

Having lost more than 20% of its donors over the past five years, Greenpeace Nederland is spending nearly €5.5m this year on fund-raising, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Friday. This is 30% more than the environmental organisation's Dutch branch spent on raising money last year, the FD added. Greenpeace had 370,000 donors in 2017, down from more than 465,000 at end-2013.  'This is a trend which started a few years ago,' Joris Thijssen, one of Greenpeace Nederland's two directors, told the paper. Thijssen said there has been a shift away from 'true supporters' who back the same good cause all their lives and towards incidental gifts, often spurred on by developments in the news.  'The way the younger generation donates money - often by means of one-offs such as crowdfunding - is a real challenge for many NGOs,' he said. Greenpeace Nederland had an income of €25.4m in 2017, of which €19m came from donors, a decline of €355,000 over 2016. Income was boosted by a single donation from the Postcodelotterij of €3.2m. Greenpeace is a NGO with offices in over 40 countries. Its international coordinating body is based in Amsterdam and is separate from Greenpeace Nederland.  More >

Food inspectors act on water in meat

The Dutch food safety board has given the meat industry until July 10 to come clean about how much water it adds to packs of meat and fish sold in supermarkets, the Volkskrant reported on Friday. European meat firms have been required by law to include 'water' on the ingredients list since December 2014 and add the percentage of water in the total weight of the product. But checks by the Volkskrant newspaper found a number of products on sale in Dutch supermarkets do not meet the rules. For example, a pack of pangasius fish fillets sold by Jumbo are labeled as 78% fish, but do not say how much of their weight is water. The NVWA told the Volkskrant it had found faulty labels in the past but declined to say how many. The body now says it will get tough on food processors who do not comply with the rules in the second half of this year.  More >

Pensioners live longer in their own homes

The percentage of people over the age of 85 who are still living independently at home went up from 65% to 72% between 2012 and 1016, according to research by the Dutch healthcare authority NZa. The government has been actively encouraging people to stay at home since 2013, and the survey results show this is beginning have an effect, the NZa said. In particular, the government has introduced new health checks for admittance to a home. Now, almost half of care home residents have some form of dementia, compared with just 25% in 2012. There are some three million people over the age of 65 living in the Netherlands, but their number is set to grow to 4.5 million - or a quarter of the population - by 2040. The over-65s currently account for almost half of all spending on healthcare, but most of that goes on the small group who live in residential homes. Assets Finance ministry research earlier this month showed that today’s pensioners in the Netherlands have more disposable income than in the past and their assets have increased due to soaring house price. But even excluding home ownership, pensioners have more assets on average than the rest of the population. Dutch pensioners are also well off when compared with other countries. Just 2.6% of Dutch pensioners are said to be poor, compared with 8.2% of households in general.  More >