Thursday, September 3, 2015

Police Reorganization Will Cost Twice As Much As Planned

Ard van der Steur, Minister of Security and Justice, has announced that the creation of a National Police Force through combining the 27 existing police corps will take double the time originally planned as well as double the cost budgeted.  The money required will be 460 million Euro instead of the original budget of 230 million Euro.  The deadline for the reorganization has been moved from the end of 2015 to 2018.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Utrecht Municipality loses 20 million Euro on Soccer Stadium

The municipality of Utrecht has lost 20.5 million Euro on a loan to the contractor hired to develop a stadium for the local soccer club FC Utrecht.  The developer has gone bankrupt and the municipality has sold its claim to the Rabobank at a major discount, taking a huge loss in the process.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Opponent of “Black Piet” received Death Threats.

Quinsy Gario, a much publicized black Dutch opponent of “black Piet” figure, has said that he has received many death threats.  He is now often afraid to go out and suffers from panic attacks and palpitations. He reported that he received 770 insulting messages and death threats over the course of one year.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Liberal party wants to censor book it has ordered

The Liberal Party has tried to censor the biography of its former parliamentarian, Haya van Someren-Downer (1926-1980) which it had ordered.  According to the party, the historian and journalist Alies Pegtel, who wrote the book has given too much attention to the collaboration of Someren-Downer’s parents and two elder brothers with the Nazis.  All four were condemned after the war as members of the pro-Nazi party NSB.  In a previous book by Utrecht Mayor Jan van Zanen, hardly any mention was made of this.  Pegtel has refused and the party has now cancelled the festive presentation of the book to Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

UN Committee against Racial Discrimination critical of Dutch “black Piet” tradition

The CERD, the committee of UN human rights experts is critical of the Netherlands.  It wants the Dutch state to take a strong position against incitement for political purposes.  It specifically expresses its worry about the way the Dutch tradition of “black Piet” is sometimes carried out.  The committee refers in particular to the way this figure is presented, which it considers a reflection of negative stereotypes of people from African origin.  Black Piet is the assistant of the holy Nicolas, a saint from Dutch folklore, whose national day is the 5th of December.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Highest number of tick bites recorded in Dutch province

680 tick bites were recorded in the province of Gelderland in July 2015 alone.  This was announced by the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM).  This high number is unprecedented in the province.  In general, more tick bites are reported from Gelderland than from anywhere else in the Netherlands.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Over 50% of female Dutch murder victims were killed by their partners

From 2010 to 2014, seven hundred and seventy-seven people met their deaths through violence.  Two thirds of the victims were men.  More than half of the women who were murdered in the past four years were killed by their partners or former partners.  In more than 90% of the cases, this resulted from domestic circumstances or jealousy.  Most of the women were strangled or stabbed.