Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dutch to Lose Income Due to Cuts in Tax Deductions

Millions of Dutch will have to cope next year with an enormous rise in the cost of health insurance (zorgkosten). This is because the government) wants to cancel the tax deductions on eyeglasses, orthodontic work and speech therapy. According to as yet unpublished calculations of the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (FNV) families may lose hundreds to perhaps even thousands of Euros a year because of the changes in the tax regulations.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Complaint against Dutch Website Sales

The Discrimination Internet Centre (Meldpunt Discriminatie Internet - MDI) has filed a complaint against the Dutch website ‘’ The website, affiliated with the worldwide extreme-right organization Blood & Honor, offers for sale – among other things – computer games which show how to ‘shoot as many Jews and blacks with big guns’ while bystanders, recognizable by swastikas, encourage the shooters. Also the sound of gas is heard. “I have not ever seen such a thing”, said Niels Van Tamelen, director of MDI. The site, which was opened this year, also offers for sale all kinds of neo-Nazi propaganda articles such as cd’s and T-shirts. Blood & Honour is against the law in a number of countries including Germany. A majority of Dutch parliamentarians also fear a ban, but it is unclear whether this is possible under Dutch law.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Municipalities Afraid of Bulgarian and Romanian Employees

At a meeting of representatives of a number of municipalities, they asked the government not to permit free admission of Bulgarians and Romanians beginning in 2009. The municipalities say that they have major problems dealing with the influx of mainly Polish employees. They feel that this problem needs to be solved before allowing others to come into the country.

No Improvement in Amsterdam Air Quality Since 1999

The air quality report of the Municipal Health Service for 2007 shows that air quality in Amsterdam has not improved since 1999. Alderman Marijke Vos, who is in charge of environment, says that this indicates that cars which are especially polluting should not be allowed into the center of the city.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Employment Bureaus do not Function

Loek Hermans, chairman of the Organization of Middle-sized and Small Businesses, has written a letter to Deputy Minister Ahmed Aboutaleb (Labor Party) who is in charge of social affairs and employment. Hermans writes that 80% of middle-sized and small businesses do not benefit from the employment agencies. These agencies either don’t send any candidates or they send people who have no proper training for the jobs or no motivation. Businessmen are now so afraid of the bureaucracy that they want nothing to do with these employment agencies.

Waiting List for Professional Care for Youngsters is Growing Again

At present more than 3,300 children in the country have to wait more than nine weeks to get professional care. A year ago the figure was 2,065. At the beginning of 2007, waiting lists had been greatly reduced thanks to an investment of 100 million Euro. In Amsterdam, which last year received 3.3 million to solve the problem, the number of children waiting for help was 347 as against 239 last year.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Two Helicopter Pilots to be Prosecuted

The attorney-general’s office in Arnhem wants to prosecute two Apache helicopter pilots who, on 12 December 2007, flew into high tension electric cables. As a result of that incident a substantial area had no electricity for several days. Schools as well as many shops were closed and farmers could not operate their milking machinery. Mobile phones also could not function in the area. The pilots are accused of having acted carelessly. The Ministry of Defense had to pay 36 million Euro in damages.

No Improvement in Amsterdam Air Quality Since 1999

The air quality report of the Municipal Health Service for 2007 shows that air quality in Amsterdam has not improved since 1999. Alderman Marijke Vos, who is in charge of environment, says that this indicates that cars which are especially polluting should not be allowed into the center of the

Sunday, June 22, 2008

No Prosecution of Policeman who Traded in Hard Drugs

A policeman of the Northern-Holland corps who used and traded in hard drugs will not be prosecuted. The Justice Department feels that his immediate dismissal from the corps was sufficient punishment.

Majority of Parliament: Better Controls of Detective Firms Necessary

A majority of Parliament has asked Justice Minister Hirsch Ballin to apply stricter controls to private detective companies. More than half of these companies do not have the certification of the Bureau of Detectives organization, which conducts annual tests and certification.

Amsterdam Politician: Investigate Islam Weekend Courses

Ahmed Marcouch, chairman of the neighborhood council of Slotervaart, is demanding an investigation into the weekend courses in Islam for children. He states that these courses are being given to children in stinking facilities and in bad pedagogic conditions. Marcouch says that hundreds of children in Slotervaart are educated there to hate Western society and that whatever they have been taught during the week in school is being destroyed.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Majority of Dutch think Country Developing in Wrong Direction

The Social and Cultural Planning Bureau conducted a study which found that 64% of Dutchmen believe that the country is developing in the wrong direction. Eighty-two percent consider that they are happy and give their own life a grade of 7.5 out of 10. They give society a grade of 6.2 and national politics 5.1. Only 23% of the population feels safe enough to reprimand someone in the street for improper behavior. The others are afraid of reactions.

Gaps in Income will Increase

The gaps in income in the Netherlands are expected to increase. There is more demand for highly trained people and thus their salaries will rise. On the other hand, the wage levels of poorly trained people are under pressure from low income countries. This is the prognosis of the Dutch Central Bank.

Majority of Employment Agencies Do Not Operate in Good Faith

In the fight against employment agencies which do not operate in good faith, the companies which employ people through these agencies will now be responsible for their salaries. There is certification of employment agencies, of which 1,500 have now been accredited. According to their association the ABU there are 6,000 other agencies which do not operate in good faith.

Too Much Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer

At least 1,300 breast cancer patients are treated unnecessarily with chemotherapy every year, although a new diagnostic test has been developed which can analyze the chances of metastasis. This is the opinion of Rene Bernards, director of a company which developed this test. Bernards is a prize winning cancer researcher.,3

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dutch Rail Infrastructure has Many Computer Problems

Research carried out by the Ministry of Transport and Waterways shows that computer problems cause many more disturbances to the Dutch rail infrastructure than elsewhere in Western Europe. The organization of railway travelers Rover recently called on the minister concerned Camille Eurlings to fire 20 managers of ProRail, the company which is in charge of rail infrastructure.

D66 Leader: Christian Democrats Lust for Power

Alexander Pechtold, leader of the Left Liberal D66 Party, has called the Christian Democrats “people lusting for power.” His party criticized Christian Democrat Minister of Justice Ernst Hirsch Ballin in connection with the arrest of the cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot.

Five Officials Taken Hostage in Almelo

On Monday the owner of a restaurant in Almelo took hostage Alderman Bert Kuiper and four officials in the municipality building. He was able to do this due to lax security measures in the municipality. After five hours of negotiations he released the hostages unharmed and left his weapon behind. The attack was probably related to difficulties in receiving business permits.

Netherlands Incurs Risks by Slow Acceptance of EU Rules

The Rekenkamer (State Comptroller’s office) says that the Netherlands is incurring serious risks in the fields of health, security and environment due to its slow acceptance of European Union rules in its national legislation. The main problems are in the Ministries of Finance, Justice and Environment.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mistakes in Dutch Hospitals Lead to Many Deaths

The Order of Medical Specialists says that mistakes in hospitals result from misunderstandings in collaboration between departments. Others result from the incomplete following of protocol and insufficient double checks. Sometimes laboratory test results arrive late or are lost. This is the result of a ten-week study of 30 departments in 21 hospitals by the Nivel company. In 2004 an estimated 1,735 deaths could have been prevented.

Court Cases Against The Netherlands on Failures in Srebrenica

This week three cases against the Dutch government will be brought to court on behalf of Bosnian Muslims. In the first two family members of people murdered claim that the Dutch soldiers were negligent in their protection. The third case one is being brought by 6,000 ‘Mothers of Srebrenica’ against the Netherlands and the United Nations. Their lawyer Marco Gerritsen claims that the Netherlands would like the United Nations to be granted immunity in order to deflect its responsibility in the Srebrenica mass murders on the United Nations.

9,000 Claims against Bus Companies

About 9,000 bus passengers have submitted claims for financial compensation with the regional bus companies whose drivers have been on partial or full strike since 14 May. Last week a court decided that bus strikes during rush hours will not be allowed.

Many High School Pupils Drink Much Alcohol

A study by the Trimbos Institute on youngsters and risky behavior in 2007 found that one-third of high school pupils had, in the month before, drunk at least five glasses of alcoholic drinks in one meeting. The researchers think that many of them drink regularly.,1

Monday, June 16, 2008

Conservative Politician: Major Corruption in Dutch Antilles

Politician Hero Brinkman of the Freedom Party (PVV) says that the amount of corruption in the Dutch Antilles is much greater than what had been thought previously. In a document titled “The Antilles… Mafia in the Kingdom?” Brinkman, a former police detective, reports on corruption among more than a hundred Antillean politicians, officials and others. Some examples include policemen who are involved in robberies and drug transport and a former minister of justice who helped illegal prostitutes to enter the country. Brinkman says that if there is no parliamentary inquiry, he will pass on his information to the attorney-general.

Education Inspectorate: Hundreds of Foreign Students Have Disappeared

The Education Inspectorate has started an investigation into the disappearance of several hundred foreign students at Dutch colleges. At least 1,000 foreign students are presently registered at eight colleges being investigated. The Immigration and Naturalization Service does not know the whereabouts of many of these students.

Polish Criminals: Don’t be Afraid of Dutch Police

Most Polish criminals who rob houses and shops in the Netherlands come from the town of Wroclaw. They have been told by friends and family that the Dutch police is very ineffective. Even if they are arrested, they will be held at most for about six hours. They are not prosecuted. Entire families have specialized in robberies in the Netherlands.

Racism against Muslim Organization

Last Friday stones were thrown through a window of the building of the Muslim Organization TaĆ¢luf in Purmerend. The marble nameplate was also destroyed. Three months ago swastikas, Stars of David and White Power were painted on the windows and a wall of the building. A year ago stones were thrown through three of the windows. No perpetrators of any of these incidents were ever found.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Data Bank on Problem Children

The police plans to establish a data bank of children up to the age of 12 who are at risk to become criminals later on. These children will be investigated and on the basis of the information obtained, those at high risk will be identified. Only a small group of children who cause problems will ultimately turn out to be criminals. However, they represent 60% of all criminal activity.

Dutch Throw Smoke Bombs in Bern

Some Dutch football fans threw orange smoke bombs in the town of Bern, where the Dutch soccer team has been playing its games. The police is afraid that if there will be additional such incidents, the smoke may remain in the Bern railroad station, which is underground, causing pollution.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Amsterdam Alderman: Youth Policy in Amsterdam Fails

Amsterdam Alderman Lodewijk Asscher (Labor) has reported to the municipal council, saying that the policy of services for youth policy in Amsterdam is failing. This results from a research project which has gained the nickname “Operation Frankenstein.” One of the problems is the vast number of initiatives in the field of youth and welfare services, which causes the people in need to feel lost in a labyrinth. The municipality is also poorly informed about the results of its efforts and has no clear information on where its money is spent.

President of Central Bank: Public Sector Salary Policy is Idiotic

Nout Wellink, president of the Dutch Central Bank, has said that the policy that the prime minister’s salary is the maximum for public servants is “idiotic.” He added that the prime minister’s position “is the only function for which there is no market. The prime minister can be an excellent person but also a misfit.” Wellink proposed that a reasonable level for salaries in the public sector be fixed and only then should the salaries of ministers be determined.

Intelligence Services Investigations Leaked on Website

Sensitive information from BVD, the predecessor of the current General Intelligence Services (AIVD) can be found on the websites of a radical left wing group. The data concern the results of a secret investigation into the sexual abuse of young children by high placed officials in the police and the attorney-general’s office in Amsterdam.

Foreign Maritime Experts Steal from Dutch Ship

A number of international maritime experts have stolen a variety of goods from a Dutch military ship. Items stolen included, inter alia, mirrors and pillow covers. This occurred when maritime experts from tens of countries remained on board the ship Rotterdam during a military exercise off the coast of Norway. As many of them threw towels in the chemical toilets, there were also sewerage problems on the ship. A spokesman for the Dutch navy expressed his surprise at this behavior in view of the fact that the visitors were diplomats.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Jordanian Activists Sue Dutch Legislator

The Jordanian Muslim group Rassoul allah Yajmana (The Messenger of God Unites Us) has filed a law suit in Jordan against Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders. This is in response to his anti-Quran film which is considered to be insulting to Islam. Last week the same group filed another law suit against 17 Danish newspapers which had reprinted cartoons considered as insulting to the Prophet Mohammed. The group was formed earlier this year to protect the prophet against insults.

Terrorist Threats against the Netherlands remain Serious

The National Coordinator of the Battle against Terrorism (NCTb) has informed Parliament that the potential for terrorist threats against the Netherlands remains serious. The main threats come from Pakistan, Afghanistan, North Africa and Iraq. The new Pakistani government seems to be softer on terror groups which may give anti-European bodies more opportunities. The NCTb thinks that the Netherlands will remain a long-term target for international Jihadists due to the “Fitna” movie by Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders,

More Fights between White and non-Western High School Pupils

There has been an increase in incidents of fighting between native Dutch and non-Western high school pupils. There were ethnic conflicts during the last school year in four out of 10 high schools. This is an increase of 10% in two years. Jaap van Donselaar, an expert on right-wing extremism, says that since the murder of the Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn in 2002, tensions between native Dutch and non-Western pupils have increased mainly due to cultural differences. These fights are not usually between extreme rightists and radical Muslim youngsters. Van Donselaar adds that the real numbers of incidents are much higher than those reported because schools often do not report incidents for fear of getting a bad reputation.

Lack of Detectives Makes Fight against Fraud Difficult

The inter-regional detective units which fight against heavy crime have serious personnel shortages. This has negative consequences for the investigation of fraud and assistance to victims. This is mentioned in the 2007 annual report of the inter-regional detective units.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Polarization in Amsterdam Increasing

Alderman Lodewijk Asscher (Labor) says that the gaps between the rich and poor populations in Amsterdam are increasing. it is almost possible to predict the future of various people on the basis of birthplace and national origin. Problems concerning housing, employment, income, health and education often coincide. The polarization in the city is increasingly seen to be related to ethnic background.

More Criminality among Antillians in Rotterdam

The number of registered crimes by Antillians in Rotterdam increased by 10% in 2007. About 20,000 Antillians live in Rotterdam, 10% of whom are regularly involved in criminal activities.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Liberal Party: The Hague Should Consider Closing Mosque

The leader of the Liberal faction Mulder (VVD) in the Hague municipal council has said that the municipal authorities should distance themselves from Imam Sjeich Fawaz Jneid of the As Soennah mosque and condemn his statements. Mulder added that the municipality should consider closing the mosque. He based himself on the position of the national intelligence service (AIVD), which considers that Salafist mosques such as As Soennah can be a danger to security.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Majority of Dutch Opposes Big Mosques

Sixty-five percent of the Dutch want a stop on the construction of large mosques. Sixty-nine percent are worried about the way Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party speak about Islam. Fifty-seven percent consider the growth of the number of Muslims in the Netherlands as dangerous to Dutch culture. This results from a poll by Infomart GfK on behalf of the TV program Network and the newspaper Nederlands Dagblad.

No more Christmas Festivities for Amsterdam Bus and Tram Drivers

The Amsterdam Municipal Transport Company GVB wants to replace the public Christmas festivity for its drivers with a neutral activity, such as a New Year drink. This is in view of the large number of non-western drivers who do not celebrate Christmas. One of the unions of drivers is strongly opposed to canceling this tradition.

Government Submitted Incorrect Figures on Cost of Royal Family

The Ministry of Defense has announced that it has published incorrect data for the Treasury on the costs of the royal family for the years 2005 and 2006. The mistakes were made by the Ministry, not the royal family.

Former Dutch Minister Feels Unsafe

Former Minister Rita Verdonk has been informed by Minister of Justice Ernst Hirsch Ballin that the government will no longer be responsibility for her security. When Verdonk was the minister of integration and foreigners and later as a parliamentarian, she required heavy guarding by state security services. Verdonk, who now heads a new political movement, says that she has not had a single public appearance where there were no incidents. She added that Muslim radicals and leftist extremists know that when she comes to power she will “take care of them.” She added that in the Netherlands the truth is not always appreciated. Verdonk mentioned that a few weeks ago three Muslims were filming in the bushes near her house.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Two Children Wounded by Dutch Soldiers in Afghanistan

Two children were wounded in a shooting exercise by Dutch soldiers in the Uruzgan province of Afghanistan. They had entered the training area unnoticed, despite the Dutch guards. The Dutch military police is investigating the case.

18.5 Billion Euro Whitewashed Annually

An estimated 18.5 billion Euro illegal funds are whitewashed in the Netherlands every year. The chances of being caught are minimal. Of the 34,500 suspected cases, only 767 have been brought by various police services to the attention of the attorney-general’s office.

Government Funds to Combat Drug Traders in Maastricht

Guusje ter Horst, Minister of the Interior, will make available 900,000 Euro to fight drug dealers in the southern part of the Limburg province. Mayor Gerd Leers of Maastricht, the capital of the province, says that 1.8 million drug tourists visit the town every year. The numbers have further increased due to the closure of a large “coffee shop” in another town.

Escort Agency Sues Employment Agency

The escort agency He & She is suing an employment agency in Groningen because it refused to advertise an opening for a telephone operator for their office and for prostitutes.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Serious Breach of Rules for Carrying Arms by Police

The police greatly breaches the rules for carrying arms. Last year 1,200 policemen, who had failed their target tests, did not return their weapons as required. In police circles it is assumed that half of these are patrolling with weapons, although this is forbidden. Minister of the Interior Ter Horst has written a non-public letter to police units, requesting that all these weapons be returned. It had been announced already in 2004 that unlicensed patrolling with weapons would be stopped.

Minister: Many Education Reforms Have Failed

Minister of Education Ronald Plasterk, in a letter to Parliament, has admitted that educational reforms over the last twenty years have shortchanged both students and teachers. Plasterk says that schools were unjustifiably overloaded with new ambitions and desires. The government combined innovations with cuts in expenditure, it interfered in didactics and made too many changes too fast. He added that some of the innovations were disastrous for the weakest pupils.