'Anne & Frank' bakery gives rise to Twitter storm

The owner of an Amsterdam bakery has bowed to pressure to change his business name after his initial choice of 'Anne & Frank' sparked uproar on social media. The man, who gave his name only as Roberto, told AT5 he intended the name to be a tribute to Anne Frank, whose hiding place is just around the corner from the premises in Raadhuisstraat. 'Anne Frank is a heroine for many people and for me too. Because my business is close to the Anne Frank Huis, it seemed like a nice name. She's obviously world famous.' But Twitter users were less impressed, branding the choice of name 'bizarre', 'tasteless' and 'beyond the boundaries of shame and decency'. Roberto said he had not decided on a new name for his bakery. Elke vorm van schaamte en fatsoen voorbij. Een bakkerij om de hoek van het @annefrankhuis om toeristen te trekken. Zelfs al heten de eigenaars Anne en Frank dan is het nog stuitend. @AnneFrankCenter pic.twitter.com/zjLEFp7thZ — Drukke Toestand (@DrukkeToestand) August 25, 2018   More >

Centres for disruptive refugees not used

Two refugee centres which were opened at the end of last year year to accommodate asylum seekers who cause problems in regular centres have barely been used so far, the Volkskrant reported on Wednesday. The two centres, in Amsterdam and Hoogeveen, had housed just 36 people up to March this year, the paper said. It bases its claim on documents obtained using freedom of information legislation. The two centres cost €1.2m to set up and operate a stricter regime than in regular refugee centres, the paper said.  Most of the money has gone on personnel costs. The central refugee organisation COA said that agreement had been reached with Amsterdam and Hoogeveen to start out with a few asylum seekers as a test. There are no figures available for numbers after March. Junior justice minister Mark Harbers told the paper that it would be premature to draw conclusions about the new approach. He said he had the impression that 'removing a disruptive person to the new facility has an impact on the people left behind' who realise that bad behaviour has consequences.  More >

New KLM management structure 'an option'

KLM president Pieter Elbers said a ‘new governance structure’ will be presented for the troubled airline alliance in September. ‘That’s a broad subject. It can be the new chairman or the structure of Air France KLM itself could be revamped. All options are open,’ Elbers told online news service Nu.nl in Paris on Wednesday. Elbers himself is often mooted as a new head of the combine, but he refused to comment, Nu.nl said. Air France KLM presented first-half 2018 earnings figures on Wednesday, but the media were only interested in one subject: the new chairman. The Franco-Dutch airline combine has been leaderless since the 4 May resignation of  Jean-Marc Janaillac over a failed pay deal for the French arm of the company. Strikes earlier this year cost Air France upwards of €400m. Interim Air France KLM is now being operated by an interim management team consisting of three representatives of Air France and Elbers from KLM. The KLM chief described relations on the team as being cordial.  ‘There is more that binds us than separates us,’ he said. Elbers said the new CEO will have to first address the problems in France and then focus on group strategy. He said there was absolutely no chance of a divorce between the two airlines. Air France KLM posted first-half  operating profit of €345m, higher than analysts had expected. KLM contributed a far higher share of group earnings.  More >

Tiësto remains best paid Dutch DJ

With his 2017 income pegged at $33m, Tiësto remains the best paid DJ in the Netherlands and is ranked third on Forbes’ annual list of global DJ earnings. Breda-born Tiësto, whose real name is Tijs Verwest, fell from number two position as the American DJ duo the Chainsmokers pulled in $44.5m.  Top spot again went to Calvin Harris of Scotland at $48m. Coming in10th on the Forbes list with earnings of $19.5m, was another Dutchman,  Martin Garrix.  And Afrojack, with income of $10m, was ranked 15th.   More >

Limburg toddlers to learn Limburgish?

Toddlers in Limburg are to be spoken to in Limburgish in an effort to help keep the local language alive, the Limburger newspaper said on Thursday. The province is launching an experiment at play group Spelenderwijs in the far south in which play group leaders will talk to the children in Limburgish rather than Dutch. Some words, such as hin for hen, are fairly easy to understand but others, like kuusj for pig and sjokel for swing are very different from Dutch. 'Limburgish is still the first language in many Limburg families,' said regional language expert Ton van de Wijngaard, who advises the provincial government. 'But once they go to play groups, children only hear Dutch... and then they don't want to talk Limburgish at home any more.' The province has published a new policy document which states the language is a very important part of Limburg's cultural heritage and should be given a more prominent place in education. The province is also planning to develop special lessons on Limburgish for use in both primary and secondary schools. The province's culture director Ger Koopmans told the paper he is 'charmed' by the plan. 'This is an important step in keeping Limburgish alive,' he said. More details about the plans will be released in the coming months. Limburgish has been recognised as an official regional language in the Netherlands since 1997. According to the Limburgish Academy Foundation Limburgish also has its own written tradition, which dates back to at least 900 AD and some of Europe’s most highly regarded literature came from Limburg between the 11th and 14th centuries.   More >

Terrorism not ruled out in stabbing

The Syrian man arrested in The Hague for stabbing three people on May 5 has been charged with three counts of attempted murder and a terrorist motive has not been ruled out, the public prosecution department said on Monday. The investigation has turned up a Facebook message in which the 31-year-old stated that 'unbelievers will suffer' and the prosecution department admitted in late May that it had been tipped off about Malek F's threats in March. Police are still trying to contact the tip giver. F, who was shot by police during his arrest, is known to have a history of mentally disturbed behaviour and The Telegraaf reported that he had been involved in an incident in February where he threw furniture and possessions out of the window of his flat in the city centre. Now the public prosecutor says the man should be sent to a secure psychiatric unit for observation, to assess the nature of his psychiatric issues. He has twice spend time in a psychiatric hospital in The Hague. F is due to appear in court on Monday for a procedural hearing. The case will be heard at the high security courthouse at Schiphol airport, as is usual in cases where terrorism may be involved, the public prosecutor said.  More >

House prices rise double European rate

Housing prices in the Netherlands rose by 9.3% in the first quarter of 2018. The increase was nearly twice as high as the average price gain elsewhere in Europe, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday. The CBS and the land registry carried out a survey of the market, which revealed also that the asking price of newly-built housing units was more expensive than for existing housing stock. It said the price for new housing was 11.2% higher in the first quarter year-on-year while the cost for existing housing rose by 9%. The average price for a new housing unit was €350,000 in the first quarter of 2018, €90,000 more than a similar unit three years earlier. The average price of an existing house rose by only €60,000 in the same period, the CBS said.  More >

Constructors lose €200m on North Sea lock

Building firms BAM and VolkerWessels are to book a €200m loss on the new sea lock in IJmuiden. Infrastructure minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen said in a letter to parliament that a design fault led to the loss, which will result in a further 27-month delay in completing the lock, the Financieele Dagblad revealed. The lock, which connects the North Sea and the North Sea Canal to Amsterdam port, was originally due to be completed in late 2019, but the deadline has now been put back to January 2022. The minister said that in addition to the losses booked by the building companies, costs to the government would also be much higher. Van Nieuwenhuizen stressed that the government would not pay compensation for the design fault. The new lock, 70 metres wide, 500 metres long and 18 metres deep, will allow bigger cargo and cruise ships to reach Amsterdam. When commissioned in 2015, the budget for the project was set at €600m.  More >