Thursday, April 30, 2009

Activists Climb Building in Protest against Food Retailer

The environmental organization Milieudefensie has undertaken a protest campaign against the large Dutch food retailer Albert Heijn. They accuse the company of selling meat from animals which were fed soy grown on land obtained by cutting down forests in Latin America. The Netherlands is the second largest importer of soy in the world. As part of the protest, two Alpinists climbed the building where the Albert Heijn company was holding a

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Politicians Interfere Too Much in Amsterdam Airport Matters

Jos Nijhuis, the new head of the Schiphol Group which operates Amsterdam airport, has said that politicians are increasingly interfering in the management of the airport. In order to abolish the environmental ticket tax on 1 July, the government has made it a condition that the airport lower its fees. Nijhuis said that due to the reduction in the number of passengers, fees should actually increase by 20% but will be kept stable. Lowering the fees would affect the competitive position of the airport.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Twenty-two People Arrested During Soccer Championship Festivities

Twenty-two people were arrested in Alkmaar during the festivities for the local soccer club AZ, which won the Dutch championship. They were arrested for vandalism, insults, disturbance of public order, throwing fireworks and general poor behavior. One person was wounded by the fireworks. The police thinks that the festivities went very well.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Violence against Child Care Workers Increases Rapidly

Janny Nab, director of the William Schrikker Group (WSG), says that violence against child care workers is increasing rapidly. The WSG group cares for 8,000 children placed with them by the child protection authorities or judges. Nab says that some child care workers have been locked in closets, their children are identified on the Internet, their cars have been damaged and there have been regular threats of stabbing. In earlier cases ambulance workers, firemen, bus drivers and train personnel had complained about increased aggression against them.

Dutch Intelligence Service Broke Rules in Investigation

The supervisory commission of the intelligence and security services (CITVD) has concluded that the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) has broken the rules in its investigation of Fup Goudswaard, the former head of the regional police in the province of Zeeland. This included a secret recording of a conversation with

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Hague: Investigation of Muslim Boarding Schools

The Hague municipal councilor Else van Dijk-Staats of the VVD (Liberals) claims that there are at least three boarding schools in The Hague which have contacts with the Islamic preacher Fethulla G├╝len. She says that youngsters at these schools are isolated and indoctrinated. The municipal council has adopted a motion to investigate whether these schools actually promote such radical ideas. Alderman Rabin Baldewsingh (Labor Party) said that the municipality knows nothing about such organizations, but will investigate the addresses it has received.

Coffee House Destroyed by Soccer Fans

The interior of the “De Oude Brug” coffee house in Volendam was destroyed by a group of fans of the Ajax Amsterdam soccer club. A number of supporters of the Heerenveen club had been watching a game on TV at the coffee house. A fight broke out between the two groups of fans and, as a result, four Heerenveen fans required medical care in the hospital. One supporter was arrested. It took 30 policemen and 3 police dogs to break up the

Intelligence Service: Citizens Should be More Security Conscious

The General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) is asking citizens and authorities to be more security conscious. Due to the Internet more information is available for evil doers than the Dutch are aware of. Foreign intelligence services collect information from political, military, economic technical and scientific areas. Among these are the services of Russia and China. The Moroccan intelligence service was found to be interfering in Dutch security affairs in 2008.

Activists Occupy Center of Immigration and Naturalization Service

About ten activists of the anarchistic anti-deportation group Utrecht (Aagu) have occupied a training center of the immigration and naturalization service (IND) in Utrecht. They are demanding that all detention centers for refugees to be closed.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Minister: Problems with Moroccan Criminals Will Last Many Years

Minister of Integration Eberhard van der Laan (Labor) announced in Parliament that it will take at least eight to ten years before Moroccan youngsters will no longer be disproportionately represented in Dutch criminality statistics. In February the government presented a so-called Moroccan Letter in which it announced a number of measures on how to deal with Moroccan youth who cause problems.

Rotterdam Mayor Shocked by Criminality of Antilleans

Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb has told the local press that he is shocked by the profound criminality of young Antilleans in the city and the continuous increase of their numbers. In view of the great work of the police and the justice department, he had not anticipated so many problems. From now on, new Antillean residents of the city will receive a letter from the municipality inviting them to a meeting to become acquainted with the

Wilders Continuously Threatened

Gerard Boumann, head of the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) said in a press conference on Tuesday that the leader of the Freedom Party, Geert Wilders is continuously being threatened and therefore must be guarded at all times.

Amsterdam Soccer Club Fined for Misbehavior of Fans

The European Football Association (UEFA) has fined the Amseterdam soccer club Ajax with 30,000 Euro due to the misbehavior of some of its fans at the game which took place in Florence against the local team Fiorentina. Ajax will try to get the money back from the supporters.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Netherlands a Priority Target for Jihadi Terrorists

Gerard Bouman, the head of the Dutch General Information and Security Service (AIVD), has said in a comment on the organization’s annual report, that international jihadi networks have defined the Netherlands as a “priority target.” Bouman added that there is a substantial threat and an attack is possible.

Utrecht Mayor Pressured Newspaper

According to journalists the editor of the AD/Utrechts Nieuwsblad has prevented publication of articles about subsidies for housing costs of the town’s mayor Aleid Wolfsen (Labor). According to these sources this is a result of direct pressure by the mayor. Earlier information mentioned that the same had happened in the freely distributed paper Ons Utrecht.

Businesses Consider Municipal Services Insufficient

The consultancy firm Ernst & Young has interviewed 600 entrepreneurs about the quality of service provided by the government authorities. municipalities were rated at 5.3 out of 10. Criticism especially related to service, knowledge and the time of service by the authorities. Business people also complained that they have to submit the same information to many various authorities. They would prefer to provide the data digitally, even if only if a quarter of them thinks the authorities secure the information properly.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dirty Hospitals Promise to Clean Up

Hospitals have admitted that they are not always properly cleaned. The Dutch Association of Hospitals (NVZ) announced this as a reaction to a television program which, by use of a hidden camera, showed that a number of hospitals do not follow the protocol of cleaning. The NVZ said that protocols are not enough; one also needs regular inspections.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Amsterdam Municipal Council: Need to Deal with “Quality” Taxi Driver Misbehavior

The Amsterdam Municipal Council has demanded that the municipal authorities deal with the misbehavior of cab drivers working out of at the central train station. Many of these drivers refuse to make short trips, demand too much money and quarrel with customers. Only supposedly “quality” taxis work at this location. They have a “national mark of quality” but this has no affect on their poor behavior. Municipal Councilor Robert Flos (Liberals) called this situation “medieval” and Municipal Councilor Myriam Bergervoet (Labor Party) spoke of a gang of half-criminals.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Since Prohibition of Smoking: Discos Stink

The number of complaints about bad smells in restaurants and coffee shops has increased greatly since the prohibition of smoking in these places. It seems that the smoke often masked the smell of alcohol and body odors. A study of 850 discos by industrial designer Dirk-Jan Oudshoorn of the Technical University in Delft found that spraying orange scent in the discos causes visitors to stay longer, dance more and enjoy the evening better.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ministry Unable to Solve Banking Problems of Sex Businesses

The Ministry of Justice has written to the organization of operators of “relaxation” businesses that it cannot help sex entrepreneurs when banks refuse to deal with them. The ministry suggests that they take the banks to court.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Amsterdam: Violence Major Security Problem

The main security problem in Amsterdam is violence of pleasure seekers. Since 2003 the number of violent incidents has increased by 74%. These data have been published by the Amsterdam Center neighborhood council. According to a study last year by the Institute for Security and Crisis Management (COT) most perpetrators are white people who are over 25 years old. Moroccans are the next largest group of perpetrators.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Rutte: Give Bus Drivers Pepper Spray to Defend Themselves

Mark Rutte, leader of the Liberal Party (VVD) wants to allow bus drivers to use pepper spray to defend themselves against violence in public transport. His party says that such violence must be brought to an end. In recent weeks there were a number of incidents in which bus drivers, and also train personnel, were wounded.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Economic Crisis in Red Light District

Prices for prostitution in the Amsterdam red light district have fallen sharply due to the economic crisis. The number of clients has decreased. At the same time rents have gone up. Metje Blaak of the Red Thread organization of prostitutes says that, if they come at all, clients bargain heavily.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Media Provide Stereotypes on Sex to Youngsters

A study by the Rutgers Nisso Groep has found that the media provide a stereotypical picture of sex activity among young people. Boys always want sex and it is the duty of girls to set a limit on it. This attitude is now strongly adopted among youngsters between the ages of 13 and 17.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Economic Crisis Increases Consumption of Sleeping Pills

S. van Eick, chairman of the National Organization of General Practitioners, says that Dutch doctors have increased prescriptions of benzodiazepines, which are sedatives and also used as sleeping pills. This is the result of the economic crisis which causes people to have sleeping problems, due to worry about losing their job.,2

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Freedom Party: Chaos at Immigration and Naturalization Service

Freedom Party (PVV) Parliamentarian Sietse Fritsma has said that there is chaos at the Immigration and Naturalization Service. He added that Deputy Minister of Justice Nebahat Albayrak (Labor) cannot answer simple yet important questions such as the number of fictitious family relationships, the number of cases of fraud and the number of people without identity cards.

Hackers Break Into Medical File System

Minister of Health Ab Klink (Christian Democrat) has said that hackers have broken the access codes to the electronic medical file system. Besides the access cards to this system, access to defense computers and computers of taxis have also been broken into.

Aggression on Buses Due to Frequent Delays

The trade union FNV Bondgenoten has produced a black book of drivers’ complaints. Based on an analysis of 289 complaints, it states that many drivers see the tight schedules as the source of much of the aggression against them. Furthermore, passengers become violent and spit on drivers when there is disagreement on ticket checking. Many drivers say that the employers are not dealing properly with complaints.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Major Bank: Dutch Economy Will Shrink More than Forecast

The Rabobank, a major Dutch bank, has forecast a 4% shrinkage of the Dutch economy in 2009. This is even worse than the lowest forecast of the Central Planning Bureau, which is 3.5%. The Rabobank expects unemployment to increase to more than 6% at the end of 2009 and to almost 9% by the end of 2010.

Judge Loses Confidential Files

A Hague judge lost five confidential files as she bicycled home. Ad Westendorp, a leading lawyer, said that she did not inform the suspects and their lawyers that this had happened. It was only when the files were found and brought to a television program that the court sent letters of apology. The court has now admitted that it made a,1

Tilburg Imam Hindrance to Integration

A study by the IVA group of Tilburg University has concluded that the Tilburg imam, Ahmad Salam, is not a security risk for Dutch democracy, but that his fundamentalism can conflict with Dutch values. The researchers say that this can cause serious problems in the long term. The investigation was carried out after the police received certain information from the Dutch intelligence service.

Doors of Amsterdam and Rotterdam Subways Not Safe

The Inspectorate of Transport and Waterways has published a report which says there are problems with the safety of the Amsterdam and Rotterdam subways. In 34% of the cases the driver does not look outside before departing, although this is obligatory. In 7% of the subway trains the security system has been set incorrectly, subjecting travelers to the risk of being caught in the doors.