Six more men arrested in Eindhoven following Sinterklaas rioting

Six more people have been arrested for public order offences in Eindhoven, following the physical and verbal attacks on a small group of anti-Zwarte Piet demonstrators during the Sinterklaas procession in Eindhoven last month. A number of people, including PSV football supporters, threw eggs and beer cans at the demonstrators, and hurled both racist and sexist abuse at them. Six people were arrested on the day itself but police have now picked up six more on the basis of surveillance camera footage. All are men from Eindhoven aged between 21 and 22. The public prosecution department has not ruled out making further arrests. Tijdens de intocht in Eindhoven werd Kick Out Zwarte Piet begroet met racistische spreekkoren, bekogeld met eieren en geïntimideerd. #kozp — VICE NL (@vicenl) November 18, 2018   More >

Policeman's son was at cafe shooting

Police badge and radio. The 18-year-old youth who died after being dumped outside a Zoetermeer hospital with gun shot wounds was shot by police, investigators confirmed on Friday. The teenager, named by Dutch media as Wessel, is now known to be the son of a police officer and appears to have been involved in a shooting incident at a cannabis cafe in Delft earlier on October 8, the public prosecution department said. The shooting happened when a police officer saw two young men on a moped pull up outside The Game cannabis cafe. One got off and pointed what looked like a weapon at the cafe, at which point the police officer intervened and opened fire. The two suspects got away but 45 minutes later, one youth, named as Wessel, was left outside the Lange Land hospital with serious injuries. He later died. Telephone information, surveillance camera images and eye witnesses put the youth firmly in front of The Game cannabis cafe, the investigators found. Delft has been hit by a string of violent incidents this year. In June, three people were arrested in connection with a series of shootings and a grenade attack in which a coffee shop, tanning studio, jewellery store and clothes shop came under fire. Police believe the incidents, which all took place in the early morning, may be linked to a gangland turf war.  More >

Green light for more gas extraction

Economic affairs minister Eric Wiebes has given gas company NAM the green light to extract gas from 14 different locations in Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe up to 2027, local media have reported. Wiebes has approved the increase because extraction is being wound down elsewhere in Groningen in an effort to head off the threat of earthquakes.  Quakes following years of gas extraction have damaged thousands of homes in the region. NAM said it expects to mine between 1.3 and 2.5 billion cubic metres of gas, most of which will come from the Eleveld and Vries-Zuid fields. The plans are up for consultation until the end of the year, broadcaster RTV Drenthe said. The minister has imposed a number of new conditions on NAM in an effort to head off protests. The company has to outline what measures it intends to take if there are earthquakes in the drilling zones and has been told to reproduce a number of houses so proper comparisons can be made. NAM has also been ordered to consult with water boards and railway company ProRail about any damage to waterways and railway tunnels. Nevertheless, local campaign group Stop Gaswinning Marsdijk Nu says it will take the issue to the Council of State. 'As long as the decision is not final, I will not give up,' campaign leader Gerrit Eerland said. In preparation for the drilling, nearly every house in the village of Meedhuizen near Delfzijl in Groningen may have to be reinforced, RTV Noord reported.  More >

Dutch funeral laws need overhauling: D66

The current rules governing funerals and the disposal of dead bodies need overhauling to bring them in line with modern times, according to coalition party D66. The Liberal democrats have published a list of 14 changes which they would like to see implemented in the current laws covering death, which were last given a major overhaul in 1991. 'D66 believes that everyone should be entitled to a funeral which does justice to the life they have lived and offers comfort to loved ones,' D66 MP Monica den Boer says. 'Funerals must offer sufficient freedom of choice and this is why we have issued concrete proposals to modernise the law.' The suggestions made by D66 include allowing the ashes of two separate people to be mingled at the crematorium and an end to the law which says the ashes must remain at the crematorium for 30 says. Funerals and cremations should also be able to take place as early as 20 hours after death, rather than the current limit of 36 hours, Den Boer says. Ten things about death in the Netherlands Amsterdam has a museum devoted to funerals According to Jewish and Islamic tradition, people should be buried as soon as possible after death, she said. 'We want all common religions in the Netherlands to be able to practice their beliefs, without having to apply for special procedures.' Den Boer also supports developing a regulatory framework for the funeral industry.  More >

Almere garden show over-runs budget

The final bill for organising the Floriade - the garden show which takes place in a different part of the Netherlands every 10 years - is likely to be almost triple the original budget, the Financieele Dagblad said on Wednesday. The next Floriade will take place in Almere in 2022, but the cost is now set to hit €28m, compared with the original budget of €10m. It could be as high as €35m, according to one council committee. Almere's town council is due to discuss the mounting costs of staging the event on Thursday evening, but has already decided to accept the new financial setback, the paper said. The higher bill is partly due to Almere's plan to expand the concept into a 'world garden show', combined with the development of a new 'green' city district with 660 homes. The cost of making the land ready for building, bills from external advisors and extra input from the city's civil service are behind the higher bill, the FD said. The Floriade in Venlo, Limburg in 2012 was also a financial flop and failed to boost tourist numbers. Local entrepreneurs had expected a surge in visitors but the number of tourists to the region only reached 2.5 million, 100,000 down on the previous year. Local councils were left with a €9m bill for running the show.  More >

Anbang may sell Dutch insurer Vivat

Dutch insurance company Vivat may be put up for sale by its Chinese owner Anbang which is currently involved in a 'strategic reorientation'. A sale of a majority stake in Vivat, which was spun off from SNS Reaal, is one of the options being considered, the company said in a statement on Monday. Reuters values Vivat at around €1.5bn. 'Anbang will judge every option on its merits, without prejudice to the outcome of the strategic review,' the company said. 'JP Morgan has been appointed by Anbang to assist in the next phase of this strategic review.' Vivat was taken over by Chinese insurance group Anbang in 2015 following the nationalisation of SNS Reaal at the beginning of 2013. The group and divided into a banking arm (SNS Bank) and an insurance company (Reaal, now named Vivat).   More >