Monday 08 March 2021

Support for coronavirus measures drops, but most are still sticking to the rules

Support for coronavirus measures drops, but most are still sticking to the rules

One year after the first coronavirus case in the Netherlands, support for the government’s strategy is falling, new research by the public health institute RIVM shows. In particular, fewer than half the 54,000 people who took part in the survey think the curfew and the limit on home visitor numbers are having an impact in stopping the spread of the virus. Nevertheless, the survey shows that 92% of the population are sticking to the curfew rules and 81% are limiting... More >

Tax office to refund tax on poker winnings

The Dutch tax office has decided repay tax which it had levied over the winnings of dozens of online poker players, dating back to 2012, website said on Friday. The decision follows a complicated string of legal proceedings centering on where the website was based. The tax office argued that the company is based on the Isle of Man and is not an EU country. The players, however, said the company is based on EU member Malta. Gamblers... More >

Police break up illegal demo in Amsterdam

Riot police cleared an illegal demonstration from Amsterdam’s Museumplein on Sunday, but there was no repeat of the violence of the previous two weekends. The demonstration, for the third Sunday in a row, was called by people opposed to the coronavirus measures and the curfew, but had been banned by city officials. Some 600 people had gathered for the protest, which was broken up by police at around 4pm. Earlier in the afternoon, police had arrested 30 people who had... More >

Police report fewer New Year incidents

Although the firework ban was widely ignored, and dozens of cars were set on fire, police and the emergency services were called out some 30% fewer times than during ‘normal’ New Year celebrations, officials say. Police will give a statement about the night’s events on Friday afternoon, once they have a better picture of the number of arrests and main incidents. However, eye expert Tjeerd de Faber from Rotterdam’s specialist eye clinic told the Telegraaf this had been ‘the quietest... More >

Primary schools to shut until January 18

Primary schools and daycare centres will not reopen before January 18, education minister Arie Slob confirmed on Thursday. ‘I wish it was otherwise,’ Slob said. ‘But opening schools earlier is not on the cards, because the healthcare system is still too much under pressure from coronavirus.’ In addition, the cabinet has agreed that children under the age of 12 should also undergo tests if they have coronavirus symptoms. Government advisors recommended including younger children in the testing system in an... More >

Labour leader shamed by benefit scandal

Labour leader Lodewijk Asscher has apologised for his role in the childcare benefit scandal, saying in a Facebook posting that he has been ‘filled with shame’. Asscher was minister of social affairs from 2012 to 2017, the period in which thousands of parents were wrongly treated as fraudsters and ordered to pay back thousands of euros in childcare benefit support. Last week, the parliamentary inquiry into the scandal published a damning report, saying an ‘unparalleled wrong’ had been done to... More >

Aphrodisiacs are not food, court rules

Supplements meant to boost the libido such as ‘Spanish fly’ and herbal ‘poppers’ are not foodstuffs and as such should not fall under the low rate of value added tax (btw), the Dutch Supreme Court said on Friday. The case, between an un-named sex shop owner and the tax office, focused on whether capsules, liquids and powders sold as aids to boost sexual appetites should be subject to 9% or 21% btw. The European Court of Justice ruled in October... More >

Philips buys remote heart monitor for €3bn

Philips is taking over US medical diagnostics firm TeleMetry for €3bn, the Dutch electronics giant said on Friday. TeleMetry specialises in online heart monitoring and diagnostics. The company’s board is recommending shareholders accept the Philips offer which is worth some $72 a share, a premium of 16.5% on Thursday’s closing price. TeleMetry currently monitors over one million heart patients remotely and the acquisition is ‘a strong fit with Philips’ strategy to transform the delivery of healthcare,’ Philips said.  ‘The acquisition... More >

Rule relaxation may be tricky, 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 >