Friday, February 27, 2009

Enschede: Eight Soccer Fans Arrested

Eight people have been arrested in Enschede after fights between supporters of the local soccer team FC Twente and Olympique Marseille. According to the police four of the arrested are Dutch, three French and one is German. A French fan was taken to the hospital after haven been bitten by a police dog. There had been fights as well when the Enschede club played in Marseille. In December 2008 after a game in Paris two hundred FC Twente fans fought with fifty local supporters.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Nine People Killed in Plane Crash in Amsterdam

A Turkish Airlines plane carrying 135 passengers and crew crashed when landing at Amsterdam airport. Nine people were killed and 50 were injured, half of them seriously. The Dutch authorities are investigating.

Five Rotterdam Neighborhoods among the Most Problematic in the Netherlands

After a list of 83 problematic neighborhoods was leaked by RTL News, Minister of Integration Eberhard van der Laan (Labor) has officially published the ranking of the neighborhoods on that list. These neighborhoods have been ranked according to socio-economic status, quality of housing, social problems and residents’ opinions on traffic safety, noise levels and odors. Five out of the ten lowest ranked neighborhoods are in Rotterdam.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Netherlands Safe Haven for Belgian Criminals

Tens of Belgian criminals living in the Netherlands remain unpunished. Similarly numerous Dutch criminals are not extradited to Belgium. This was announced by the Flemish P-magazine. Belgian court decisions are not binding in the Netherlands because Belgium has not signed an extradition treaty of 1970.,2

Dutch Intelligence Service will Remain on Aruba Despite Prime Minister’s Request

After a report by the Dutch general intelligence service (AIVD) was mistakenly sent to an Aruban official, Nelson Oduber,the prime minister of the island, requested that all members of AIVD leave Aruba. The report made extremely negative remarks about Aruban politicians, stating for instance that the prime minister’s son was intimidating people. Dutch Deputy Minister Ank Bijleveld (Christian Democrats) has informed the Parliament that the AIVD people will remain on the island. She criticized Aruban Minister of Justice Rudy Croes for publishing the information from the report.

Food Banks Have No Food Left

Due to the economic crisis Dutch food banks have used up almost their supplies. Twenty percent more people have applied to them in the last two months. Clara Sies, the founder of one large food bank said that parcels now contain only three items instead of the seven included previously, and that next week they will probably have to stop distributing parcels all together.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Amsterdam Underground Debacle May Become Even Worse

The heavy overspending on the Amsterdam underground project may become even greater. From an interview with Alderman Tjeerd Herrema (Labor), who recently resigned, it is understood that only after a number of additional steps are taken will there be more clarity on the subject. The original completion date of 2011 has in the meantime been moved to 2017, but Herrema indicated that even this is not certain.

News Service Accused of Biased Reporting on Gaza War

A monitoring service of Dutch media claims that the state subsidized national news service NOS Journaal, “repetitively used terminology, omitted facts and manipulated video footage to portray Israel in the most negative light.” Yochanan Visser, on behalf of the monitoring group Israel Facts Organization, said that the prime time television program “fanned the flames of anti-Semitism in the Netherlands.” Later, scores of people chanted “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas” at anti-Israel demonstrations. The NOS-Journal refused to respond to these accusations.

Licensing Bureau Lost 5,000 Medical Files

The Workers Council of the Licensing Bureau has announced publicly that at least 5,000 medical files have been lost in the computer system. It added that at least a thousand files were handled with great delay allowing people whose licenses had been revoked due to driving under the influence of alcohol, to continue to drive. Minister of Transport Camiel Eurlings (Christian Democrats) and Parliament have asked for clarification from the Bureau of Licensing.

Socialist Party: Minister is Robbing Pensioners

The Socialist Party leader Agnes Kant said that Minister of Social Affairs Piet Hein Donner (Christian Democrats) is robbing pensioners, by forcing the pension funds to freeze the level of payment. Kant claims that the elderly in the Netherlands are carrying too large a share of the economic recession.

Monday, February 23, 2009

For Many, Pension Payments may be Reduced

A number of pension funds are concerned that hundreds of thousands of pensioners will receive lower pensions, as they do not have sufficient reserves. Jan Hein Donner, Minister of Social Affairs (Christian Democrats), says that all funds will be given five years to supplement their reserves which are below the present requirements. Those which cannot do so will have to increase their premiums or reduce the pensions in order to supplement their reserves.

Sex Enterprises Angry about Municipality’s Accusations of Crime

Platform 1012, a group of businesses in the Amsterdam red light district Wallen has submitted a complaint against the municipal authorities of Amsterdam. Platform 1012 is angry that all these businesses are being accused of being criminal or criminally inclined. The group consists of operators of prostitution windows, coffee shops which sell soft drugs and other businesses. Among those accusing them is Job Cohen, Amsterdam’s mayor (Labor Party).

Vietnamese Exporting Cannabis Growing Supplies from Netherlands

According to police commissioner Max Daniel of the task force dealing with organized cannabis growing, Vietnamese in the Netherlands are exporting lamps and filters, know how and shoots for cannabis growing. Until now it was thought that cannabis growing in the Netherlands was mainly in the hands of Moroccans, Turks and a small group of Dutchmen. The police are familiar with Vietnamese in the Netherlands mainly for their dealinfs in mortgage fraud. (Ethnic profiling in the Netherlands by the authorities is quite common.)

Authorized Financial Advisors Involved in Money Laundering

Criminal gangs are often helped in money laundering by authorized financial advisors. Through mortgage fraud the advisors help these criminals to launder millions of Euros. Theodor Kockelkoren, the director of the supervisory authority of financial practices, says that in 2008, 150 advisors were investigated as against 100 a year earlier. A number of them are presently in jail.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Young Adults Major Victims of Recession

Young adults will be the first and the major victims of the present economic crisis. This was announced by Hans de Boer who, for a long time was head of the task force which fought against unemployment among young adults. The task force was abolished in 2007 when the number of unemployed young adults had declined and ultimately reached 78,000. De Boer said that in one year the number of young adults who are not employed could increase between 50,000-100,000.

Football Fans Shout anti-Semitic Slogans against Muslim Mayor

Two hundred angry soccer fans of the Rotterdam Feyenoord team demonstrated in the center of Rotterdam. They called the town’s mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb – the only Muslim one in the Netherlands -- ‘dirty cancer Jew’. The supporters are angry that, in view of the major hooliganism at recent games, the mayor decided, together with the mayor of Amsterdam to forbid Ajax and Feyenoord fans to attend games between the teams away from home.

Amsterdam Underground: Financial Disaster

The construction of the North-South Amsterdam underground has turned into a financial disaster. The project was approved in 2002 with a budget of 1.4 billion Euro. Of this the State paid over 1 billion Euro on condition that the Amsterdam municipality would be responsible for the remainder and all costs above budget. The latest findings show that the project will now cost
2.5 billion Euro. Tjeerd Herrema (Labor), the alderman responsible for the project, has resigned.

Police Chief: Young Moroccans Train to Steal Bags

Joop Pattijn, the police chief of the troubled town of Gouda, is expecting an increase in the stealing of bags in the town. He explained that recently he saw a number of Moroccan youngsters in a parking lot training on how to steal bags. (Comment: Such ethnic profiling is quite common in The Netherlands)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Alderman: Establish Bank for Sex Businesses

Amsterdam Alderman for Finance Lodewijk Asscher (Labor) has suggested that a special bank be established for sex-related businesses. Today banks often refuse to finance the operators of prostitution windows. This leads to their using ill-reputed finance people. The Organization of Operators of “Relaxation” Businesses (VER) recently complained that banks refuse to carry the accounts of sex business operators. Asscher thinks that the regular banks should finance the special bank.

Visiting Fans Not to be Allowed for Five Years

The municipalities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam have announced that, for the next five years, visiting fans will not be allowed at soccer games between the Amsterdam Ajax and the Rotterdam Feyenoord teams. This was decided after the hooliganism between the two teams’ fans during last week’s game in Amsterdam. The teams had been warned already in April 2005 when a game between them in Rotterdam ended in chaos. At that time Feyenoord fans clashed with members of a special police unit.

Close Collaboration between Dutch and Chinese Criminals

A large part of the major production of Ecstasy in the Netherlands is based on raw materials from China. Two researchers of the Dutch National Police service (KLPD) announced this at a symposium in Amsterdam on the role of China in organized crime. It is only thanks to close collaboration between Dutch and Chinese criminals that the production of Ecstasy in Holland is so high.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Central Planning Bureau: Economy will Shrink 3.5%

The Central Planning Bureau (CPB) has announced that the Dutch economy is expected to shrink by an unprecedented 3.5% in 2009. Unemployment will increase from 4.9% to 5.5% (425,000 people). In December the CPB had forecast a decline of 0.75%. For 2010 the Central Planning Bureau foresees unemployment at 8.75% (675,000 people). The CPB expects the budget deficit to increase to 3% of GNP in 2009 and 5.5% in 2010.

Opinion Poll: Dutch Very Pessimistic about Economic Future

An opinion poll carried out by Maurice de Hond among 1,200 people found that a majority of the Dutch people think that the economy will shrink more than the 3.5% forecast by the Central Planning Bureau. Sixty percent think that the Dutch government policies are inadequate. Almost half of the Dutch think that the country is facing a unprecedented financial and economic crisis. Two months ago about 30% thought this way. De Hond commented that these reactions are the most negative he has ever encountered.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Opinion Poll: Wilders PVV Second Largest Party

A recent opinion poll by Maurice de Hond found that, if elections were held now, Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party would receive 25 parliamentary seats, as opposed to the nine he holds today. The Christian Democrats would lose 14 seats and remain with 27 seats, still the largest party. Labor, the second largest party, would lose ten of its 33 seats.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Liberal Party Asks EU for Clarification about Wilders’ Rights

Liberal Party (VVD) Europarliamentarian Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert has asked the European Commission and the EU countries to investigate whether the United Kingdom was entitled to refuse entry to Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Freedom Party. She says that she expects the EU to tell Britain that this was wrong, as it is an infringement on the rights of EU citizens.

Gorinchem: Moroccans Fight Police

Police were attacked by Moroccan youngsters in the Haarwijk neighborhood in Gorinchem, after they arrested a 17-year old boy. His friends tried to prevent his arrest, and threw stones and a bicycle at the policemen. A police car and another vehicle were damaged. In October 2008, in the same neighborhood, firemen were threatened, and on New Year’s Eve there was arson in a supermarket and a school in that neighborhood.

Amsterdam Police Powerless Against Anti-Semitic Slogans

Thirty supporters of the Ajax soccer club were arrested after the Ajax-Feijenoord soccer game in Amsterdam. Supporters of Feijenoord shouted “Hamas, Hamas - Jews to the gas chambers” after their train departed for Rotterdam. A spokesman of the Amsterdam police said that they could not arrest the fans from Rotterdam because they could not identify who had shouted, and added “when we stop the train that causes problems.”

Brazilian Students Travel to Netherlands for Dutch Ecstasy Pills

Wealthy Brazilian students are increasingly traveling to the Netherlands in order to buy ecstasy pills. When they return and are caught, they often bribe policemen in order to avoid jail sentences of up to 20 years. Corrupt policemen now chase students and tell them that unless they pay many thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, they will be arrested. A 24-year old student who was caught with drugs from Amsterdam at Sao Paolo airport, paid $13,000 to a corrupt policeman and was still condemned to five and a half years in jail.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Military Intelligence Lost Top Secrets

It recently became known that the Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) has lost some top secrets of the Netherlands and its allies in Afghanistan. A computer disc with secret data disappeared in August 2006 and was found four months later in a puddle of mud in Camp Holland in Tarin Kowt in Afghanistan. The disc had been lost by a lieutenant colonel and contained operational information of the MIVD and secret reports from American, Canadian, British and Australian services. Earlier in 2006 another MIVD collaborator in the Netherlands had lost a USB stick with information from the American National Security Agency.,1

Five Hospitals in Danger of Bankruptcy

The hospitals in Goes, Meppel, Woerden, Lelystad and Amsterdam BovenIJ are in poor financial condition and unless action is taken quickly they could go bankrupt. This was found in a study undertaken by the research bureau

Minister Verhagen Deeply Disappointed about British Behavior

Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen (Christian Democrats) is “deeply disappointed” about the British refusal to allow Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders to enter the country. The minister said that he will assist Wilders if he decides to appeal the decision. He thinks that such a procedure would show that the refusal is not justified.

Has the Privacy of Two Million Dutchmen been Abused?

The Council for the Protection of Personal Data (CBP) has begun an investigation on the use of data of 2.2 million Dutchmen by the media company Advance. It is possible, according to the CBP, that the company is breaking the law regarding personal data.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Belgian Mayors: Stop Dutch tolerance of soft drugs

Twenty five Belgian mayors from communities near the Dutch border have called upon the Netherlands to end the tolerance of soft drugs and ‘coffee shops’ where these are sold. The mayors state that the drug abuse in Belgian border provinces has increased greatly due to the Dutch tolerance policy.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Wilders: Gordon Brown Biggest Coward in Europe

Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom party has been refused entry to Britain where he was to show his anti-Islam film Fitna. He was detained on landing at Heathrow airport on Thursday afternoon and sent back to the Netherlands just over three hours later. Speaking from the airport Wilders described Prime Minister Gordon Brown as the "biggest coward in Europe" and said Britain's freedom of speech had been "set back centuries".

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ministry Paid Black Money for Rent of Embassies

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been paying rents for the residences of Dutch diplomats in a number of development countries in black money. Among those mentioned are housing facilities in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka until 2007. Former Dutch ambassador Bastiaan Körner said that this way the ministry pays less rent. However, operating in this manner is against both international rules and the internal regulations of the ministry of foreign affairs as diplomats abroad must respect local laws. The ministry of foreign affairs does not deny that this practice may still persist.

Military Pilots Who Caused Accident Were Ill Prepared

A report published by the Council for Safety has concluded that the Apache military helicopter pilots who, on 12 December 2007, caused damage to high tension cables had poorly prepared for the flight. The briefing of the pilots before the flight lasted only three minutes. It was also shown that there had been poor supervision of the preparation for the flight. The council is headed by the Dutch queen’s brother-in-law Pieter van Vollenhoven.

Schools in Weesp Threatened

A number of schools in Weesp have received threats. In view of their seriousness, the municipality has taken measures to ensure the safety of the children and employees. In making this announcement, the municipality did not specify what the threats involved.

Minister of Aruba: Dutch Spies Have to Leave

Rudy Croes, Minister of Justice of Aruba, has said that the Dutch intelligence personnel who work for the Aruba intelligence service must leave the island. The intelligence employees initially came to Aruba to keep an eye on Venezuela and its president Hugo Chávez. However, Croes said that they are more interested in spying on the Aruba government and his family, especially his brother Hendrik Croes, a former Minister of Justice.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Second Lawyer Threatened Due to Complaints against Wilders

Els Lucas, a lawyer who had requested the prosecution of Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders, has received tens of hate mails from all over Europe. Gerard Spong, another lawyer who had made a similar request, now has state-paid security guards after he had also received many hate mails. Wilders has condemned all such threats.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Shots Fired at Jewish Center in Amstelveen

Shots have been fired at the Sinai center, a Jewish institution for the mentally handicapped in Amstelveen. Two bullets have been found which could not penetrate into the building thanks to the safety glass in the windows of the therapy room. Recently there have been various cases of vandalism and arson attempts at synagogues in the Netherlands.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Kicking, Hitting, and Plundering: ‘Bus Company Underestimates the Violence’.

Transport companies have not taken the violence against bus drivers seriously. Due to the slow reaction of the bus companies the police respond belatedly to the drivers’ appeals for help.

This sharp criticism was expressed by the FNV Bondgenoten labor union in reaction to the violence severaldays ago. After a series of earlier incidents in Gouda, Arnhem amd Almere and other cities, now drivers in Tilburg and Purmerend have been attacked. According to the labor union the central council of the bus companies should call for help from the police much quicker when drivers put in a call for help. This might contribute to putting an end to the increasing violence.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Moroccans and Turks Afraid of Move to ‘White Neighborhood”

Many Moroccan and Turkish immigrants are afraid of moving to a ‘white
neighborhood’. They think they will be lonely there and looked upon negatively by the neighbors. The hardened societal climate is behind this fear. This results from a report titled ‘One cannot buy good neighbors.’ It was published by the Social and Cultural Planning Bureau.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

University Again Breaks through Transport Ticket Security

The new chip-based transportation ticket is being introduced increasingly in the Netherlands. At the request of a regional radio station, Radboud University staff members have been traveling illegally on the Rotterdam underground for days with tickets which have been manipulated to increase their value, accompanied by journalists from the radio station. The same university had already shown in the past that the security of these tickets could be broken very easily.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Criminals Acquiring Homes in Amsterdam Neighborhood

Various housing corporations are refusing to sell apartments in the Venserpolder area in Amsterdam Southeast neighborhood. They think that the criminality in the area is already so serious that these apartments will mainly be bought by other criminals. Many apartments are already being used for trade in weapons, cannabis growing, and other criminal activities. The neighborhood council says that these concerns are exaggerated.

Chinese Ambassador Complains about Robberies of Tourists

Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun has written to Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen expressing his concern about the increasing number of robberies of Chinese tourists in Amsterdam. The Amsterdam police has received information about this phenomenon from Chinese shops in the town. The mayor’s office says that they are dealing with the letter they received in late December, but can not yet say anything about measures to be taken.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Amsterdam Judges Threatened after Decision on Prosecution of Wilders

Since its decision that Geert Wilders, leader of the Party of Freedom, should be prosecuted by the Attorney General, the Amsterdam Court of Justice has been receiving hate emails and phone calls. An anti-racism organization has received two hundred hate emails in a week. Twenty of these contain death threats. The organization has complained to the police. This lead to additional hate and threatening phone calls.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wilders: Protect Lawyer who wants to Prosecute me

Lawyer Gerard Spong, who is among those who have put in complaints about Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders, which have led to the latter’s prosecution, has received hundreds of hate emails. He has asked the Attorney General to provide him with security guards. Wilders has called upon the Minister of Justice to agree to Spong’s request.