Sunday 29 November 2020

Christmas options limited as infection rate stabilises, Rutte warns

Christmas options limited as infection rate stabilises, Rutte warns

It will be difficult to relax the strict coronavirus measures now in place if the current rate of new infections continues, prime minister Mark Rutte told an online meeting of  his party, the right-wing Liberal VVD, on Saturday. Over 6,000 new cases were reported in the 24 hours to Saturday morning and this, said Rutte, was not something he wanted to see. Again he reiterated the message from last week’s press conference: if people stick to the rules, and infection... More >

Picnic plans to expand in Europe

Online supermarket Picnic is planning to expand into France and Britain, and has joined forces with Germany’s biggest supermarket group Edeka to do so, the Financieele Dagblad said on Friday. ‘We are already active in the Netherlands and Germany with success,’ founder Joris Beckers told the paper in an interview. ‘So why would it not work in England, France, Spain or Poland?’. The focus, the FD said, would appear to be on the company’s new own-label organic range which has... More >

Mercedes under fire for emissions fraud

A Dutch mass claim foundation which is suing Volkswagen for manipulating emissions tests is now turning its attention to Daimler. The foundation has filed papers with the Amsterdam court claiming that the newest Mercedes diesel cars contain software to hide the true extent of their emissions, which are so high as to break EU rules. Two Dutch car import companies and 21 dealerships are also included in the summons. The Netherlands introduced new legislation making mass claims of this sort... More >

NL has 15 gay 'conversion' therapists

There are some 15 individuals and organisations which try to ‘cure’ homosexuality operating in the Netherlands, according to a report commissioned by the health ministry. These are people and agencies which ‘may also organise peripheral activities (e.g. holiday camps, seminars and workshops) in which a non-heterosexual orientation is regarded as problematic and attempts are made to “remedy” this,’ the researchers said in a report. MPs had called for the research in the wake of reports about youngsters, particularly in orthodox... More >

Mayor, minister in anti-racism demo row

There was an online row between Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema and justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus about Monday’s anti-racism demonstration in Amsterdam, where social distancing rules were broken on a major scale, Whatsapp messages show. Halsema has accused Grapperhaus of ‘leaving her in the cold’ after appearing to deny he had supported her decision not to break up the demonstration, even though more than 5,000 people had packed onto the Dam in the centre of the capital. An exchange of Whatsapp... More >

Sports schools may open in July after all

Fitness clubs and wellness centres, sports club canteens and casinos will be able to open on July 1 rather than September 1, if the Netherlands manages to keep coronavirus under control, prime minister Mark Rutte told a short press conference on Wednesday evening. ‘But the entire package will only go ahead if there is room to do so, and if we continue to keep to the social distancing rules,’ Rutte said. The decision to bring forward the opening of sports... More >

Wear a mask if you want to: Dutch PM

There is nothing to stop people wearing face masks if they want to but there are risks attached if they use them wrongly, prime minister Mark Rutte said at his weekly press conference on Friday. Pressure has been mounting on the Dutch government to make the use of masks compulsory in confined spaces, but so far officials insist that their use should be confined to medical staff. The government’s advisory team is currently assessing the situation and will make recommendations... More >