Thursday, July 30, 2009

Attorney-General: Journalist Operated Informer in Intelligence Service

The Attorney-General says that journalist Jolande van der Graaf of the Telegraaf daily has not only received information from an employee of the general intelligence service, but she has also used him as an informer with the purpose of obtaining state secrets.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dutch Arab Universities Provide Useless Degrees

The Socialist Party has asked Minister of Education Ronald Plasterk (Labor) to act against institutes which falsely claim that students can get university degrees at their schools. In The Hague there are various such institutions which call themselves universities, as this term is not protected, although they have no accreditation. These institutions give “degrees” which are not recognized by any official university. Examples are various Arab institutions such as the Global Lahaye University and the Alhurra University.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Criminals Refuse Psychiatric Examination

The Ministry of Justice is concerned about the fact that more than half of the heavy criminals in the Netherlands refuse psychiatric examination. These criminals are afraid that part of their punishment will be in a psychiatric institution. Such criminals usually get longer jail sentences and do not receive the treatment they need. This was said by a spokesman of the attorney-general’s offrice.,1

Many Restaurants Charge Mineral Water Prices for Tap Water

Researchers of the consumers’ association have found that in 38% of the cases where carbonated mineral water is served in glasses in restaurants, it consists of tap water with added bubbles. The prices charged are for carbonated mineral water. The researchers ordered carbonated mineral water and took samples of tap water in the restaurant and then compared the two in the laboratory.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dutch Doctors Afraid of New Wave of GHB Addicts

Gamma-Hydroxy-Butyrate (GHB) is the newest addiction. Dutch doctors are afraid of a new wave of addicts as the drug can be produced in large quantities in homes. The drug stimulates sexuality, emotions and intellect. It also creates a strong feeling of beauty. It is extremely addicting.

Farewell Drinks for Provincial Counselor Cost 10,000 Euros

Recently the entire provincial council of Northern Holland resigned after the province lost tens of millions of Euros in one of the Iceland bank failures. The province will now be spending 10,000 euros for the farewell party of one its counselors Ton Hooijmaijers (Liberal Party). The Socialist Party says that at present this is legal, but they plan to introduce a new rule which would limit the cost of such parties to 1,000 euros.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Netherlands is Largest Transporter of Illegal Waste to Asia and Africa

The Netherlands, together with Italy and Belgium, are the largest European transporters of illegal waste to Asia and Africa. Between March and May this year 30,000 tons were identified. This was discovered by the World Customs Association in the framework of its Operation Demeter. The Ministry of the Environment says that this derives partly from Rotterdam’s role as a major container port.

Intelligence Service Appeals Against Court Decision

The general intelligence service AIVD will appeal against the decision of the Amsterdam court which demands that the AIVD stop tapping the phones of the daily Telegraaf. The judge also forbade the AIVD from tapping the phone of the Telegraaf journalist Jolande van der Graaf who is suspected of leaking state secrets.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Forty Percent of Policemen Doubt If They Want to Stay

Research carried out by the Socialist Party among 8,500 policemen shows that almost 40% question whether they want to stay on the police force much longer. Sixty percent enjoy their work less than they did a few years ago; only 15% of those who participated in the research think the public appreciates their work. Ninety percent think that politicians have insufficient knowledge of the problems of policemen. Two-thirds say that the same is true for the heads of the police.,2

Dutch Imams Cannot get Jobs

Imams who got their training in the Netherlands cannot find jobs. The government wants to replace foreign imams who don’t speak Dutch and might have radical ideas. However, the poor mosques cannot afford to pay for Dutch imams and elderly members of the mosques do not want Dutch-speaking imams.

Taxi Terror May Move to Almere

Due to the more stringent checks on taxi drivers in Amsterdam, more and more problematic drivers are moving to the town of Almere. Cab drivers in Almere say that there have already been a number of fights. The spokesman for the municipality says that they haven’t taken any measures since they know nothing about this

Twenty-Five Percentage of Tour Car Drivers Break Laws

The NOS TV news program says that 25% of tour car drivers break the law regarding rest times. The FNV trade union says that the main problems involve the 3,400 part-time drivers.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Extreme Animal Rightists being Investigated as Terrorists and Organized Criminals

The Dutch attorney-general’s office feels that extreme animal rightists are an increasing danger to Dutch society, having become more violent in recent years. They are now dealt with by the same unit as terrorists and members of organized crime groups. Most of their activities consist of destruction, arson, intimidation and freeing animals from breeding farms. The general intelligence service (AIVD) says that extreme animal rightists use the internet to access the personal data of their targets. The attorney-general’s office has admitted that it has not been successful in penetrating the circles of the extreme animal rightists.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One Hundred Thousand Illegal Workers in the Netherlands

The Telegraaf daily claims that, according to unpublished figures of the Ministry of Social Affairs, there are presently 100,000 people working in the Netherlands without a labor permit. The main fields of work concerned are the restaurant sector, construction and greenhouse agriculture.

Many People Watching Tour de France during Work Hours

One out of four employees has been watching the Tour de France during work hours. Thirteen percent say that they have enough time and it is not affecting their work. There is no difference between the behavior of management and lower level employees.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Arson Destroys Anne Frank’s Camp Barracks

The barracks in the Dutch transition camp Westerbork where Anne Frank worked in 1944 has been destroyed, probably by arson. The barracks, which had been sold to a farmer several decades ago and stood in the town of Veendam, was to have been moved back to the memorial site in the camp in the near future. The Frank family was deported from Westerbork to the East. Anne Frank died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Subsidy for Amsterdam Organization of Prostitutes

The interest group of prostitutes -- the Red Thread – will receive a subsidy from the Amsterdam municipality. The group published a notice that although it had planned to discontinue its support of sex workers, it will now be able to attract new personnel for additional projects.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Suspended Agent: Serious Leaks in Intelligence Service Computer System

A suspended secret agent has told the court in Dordrecht that the computer systems of the General Intelligence Service AIVD resemble a cheese with big holes. The agent has been accused of breaking into the AIVD data banks over a long time and on a large scale for his personal purposes. The agent claims that he has done a great service to the AIVD by identifying the problem. He also found his own phone number among those to be investigated. He added that he was shocked that the AIVD doubted his integrity and, if so, why had they approached his wife to join the service.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Intelligence Service Employee Tries to Sell Secret Information

An employee of the General Intelligence Services (AIVD), who is suspected of having leaked secret information to the daily Telegraaf, has also offered a report on the vulnerability of the service to a security company. This was announced by the Dutch TV news service NOS.

Amsterdam: A New Wave of Albanian Crime?

After the recent killing of two Albanians in Amsterdam, the number of Albanian criminals killed in the city in the last six months has now risen to five. For years now many Albanians have been active in the crime circles of Amsterdam. In 2002 their presence and activities were so serious that a special team of 6 detectives was assigned specifically to deal with Albanian crime in the town. One hundred forty-two suspects were identified as dealing with trade in women and drugs, whitewashing, identify fraud and sometimes even murder. At present the so-called BAR team of detectives is focusing on Bulgarians, Albanians and Romanians.

Amsterdam: Anti-Semitic Graffiti Scratched on Cars

About a hundred cars were partly destroyed in the southern part of Amsterdam. Swastikas were found scratched onto a large number of them.

Supermarkets Don’t Want More Moroccan Workers

A number of shops of the large supermarket chain Albert Heijn located at train stations do not want any additional Moroccan employees. This is shown in internal requests to the company headquarters. Some shop managers think that there are too many Moroccans working in the shops. The company headquarters said that it will not tolerate discrimination according to ethnic profiling.,1

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

After Three Years Still no Answer on Anti-Semitism Complaint

Ronny Naftaniel, director of the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI), has asked the Ministry of Justice to make a decision quickly about the prosecution of the Arab European League (AEL) for Holocaust Denial. CIDI had submitted a complaint against them after the AEL had published two anti-Semitic cartoons on its website in February 2006. One of the cartoons showed Anne Frank in bed with Hitler. Till now the ministry has not decided whether to prosecute.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Coffee Shops Oppose Identity Cards for Hashish Buyers

Dick van Haaren, chairman of the Association of Coffee Shops in Eindhoven, has said that his organization is opposed to an identity card system for people buying hashish. He thinks this would lead to more illegal trade, since the cannabis production in the province of Brabant is much greater than the consumption by the provincial population.

New Publicity Campaign Leads to More Complaints of Discrimination

Since the introduction of a new publicity campaign on discrimination at the beginning of July, the number of complaints at the Amsterdam discrimination monitoring center doubled. Within nine days there were 80 complaints. The percentage of increase in Rotterdam is even larger. “Verdubbeling van discriminatieklachten,” Metro Amsterdam. 10 July 2009

Minister: Stop Separate Integration Courses for Men and Women

Minister of Integration Eberhard van der Laan (Labor) has demanded that Alderman Spit of Utrecht (Labor) discontinue the separate integration courses for men and women. The alderman refuses to do so.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Parallel Systems of Law for Muslims and Others

The NRC Handelsblad daily published an opinion article which stated that some mosques in the Netherlands are marrying and divorcing people illegally. Sometimes this involves polygamous weddings. There are also weddings of minors. The Islamic rules concerning marriage, divorce, alimony, guardianship, parental authority and inheritance are being applied, although they are often against Dutch law. In fact, two parallel legal systems exist in the Netherlands. There are Dutch laws which in fact are not being applied to certain Muslims.

First Taxis Prohibited from Entering Amsterdam Center

Under new rules which allow the police to temporarily prohibit entrance to the city center, last weekend they forbade two cab drivers from doing so.

Police Fight with Soccer Fans

Police in the town of Eindhoven prevented soccer fans of the Feyenoord Rotterdam team from making an intermediate stop when their train passed through the town. The police used clubs, dogs and pepper spray in order to keep them from leaving the train. Three policemen were beaten; one was taken to hospital.

Hospitals Need Better Control on Medical Specialists

Minister of Public Health Ab Klink (Labor) has informed Parliament that specialists in hospitals conceal too much information from the hospital management. Management finds it hard to know to what extent the specialists abide by the rules. The minister said that it is unacceptable that doctors know about cases of abuse by other doctors but do not report them to the hospital management. Even worse are those specialists who continue to work in situations where the safety of their patients is at risk.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Amsterdam Firemen Feel Endangered

Amsterdam firemen say that due to the cutbacks in the budget of the fire department, their own safety is in danger as well as the fire protection in the city. Firemen have complained that instead of seven people on a team, there are now only six. The commander of the fire department has announced in a letter that there will be no longer be any overtime pay, no vacancies will be filled and a number of staff employees will be fired. Training activities will also be

Two Main Amsterdam Taxi Stations Manned by Gangsters

The Parool daily writes that, at night, the two main taxi stations in Amsterdam, the one at the Central Station and thye one on the Leidseplein in the center of the city, are in the hands of gangsters. This situation has been given much publicity after a cab driver killed a potential passenger. Police Commissioner Hans Schönfeld said that the recent announcement of the Inspectorate of Transport that the situation had improved, reminded him of Saddam Hussein’s Minister of Propaganda who announced that the Americans were being defeated while bombs were exploding in the background. The area at the Central Station is often guarded by an empty police car. It is increasingly becoming known as the “Gaza Strip.”

Government Labor Service Offers Position as Sex Escort

Vacancies for sex escorts are being advertised on the website of the government Labor Service UWV Werkbedrijf. A spokesman for the organization says that since this is a recognized profession, employers have the right to advertise if they have vacancies. Minister of Social Affairs Donner (Christian Democrats) says that unemployed people cannot be forced to take these jobs because they are only obligated to take work suited to their skills.

Hundred Twenty Victims Annually from Barbecue Accidents

A hundred twenty people end up in hospital every year due to accidents at barbecues. Most accidents are caused when spirit is used to light the fire. Children in particular are seriously hurt, as the fire will hit them at head or shoulder level. The Fire Burns Foundation advises everyone to use only lighting cubes for lighting the fire.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Liberal Party Opposes Reversed Discrimination in School Exams

The Liberal Party (VVD) opposes reversed discrimination of non-western immigrants in school exams. According to various sources non-western immigrant students in middle schools are allowed to make more spelling mistakes than native Dutch.

Political Parties Oppose Tapping of Journalists’ Phones by Intelligence Service

Various political parties have criticized the tapping of journalists’ phones by the intelligence services. Fred Teeven, a parliamentarian of the Liberal Party, says that Minister of the Interior Guusje ter Horst (Labor) must order the commission of supervision of intelligence services investigate whether the AIVD has gone too far and whether the ministry of justice is not authorizing this tapping too easily.

Criminality Problem Only Among Ethnicities

Amsterdam University Professor of Criminology Frank Bovenkerk says that immigration in itself is not what causes criminality. Certain groups of immigrants, such as Indonesian Dutch, Portuguese and Chinese hardly cause any problems in the Netherlands. On the other hand, there are major problems with Antilleans and Moroccans and, to a lesser extent, with Turks and people from Surinam. The factors which are important, according to Bovenkerk, are street culture, the social norms of certain groups, and low socio-economic level.
Joost Zonneveld, “We overdrijven problemen radicalen,” Parool, 4 July 2009.

Amsterdam Introduces Prohibition of Access to Certain Areas

In view of the killing of a potential client by a taxi driver, Amsterdam is introducing the prohibition of access to the center of the city for people who cause problems over the weekend. It can also be used against misbehaving cab drivers.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Well-known Prosecutor Needs Heavy Protection

Koos Plooij, the Netherlands’ best known public prosecutor. has been given round-the-clock protection, after intelligence information showed that his life was in danger. He travels only in armored cars. He arrived at the court in Haarlem with five security guards wearing bullet proof jackets. Plooij had been seriously threatened already a few years ago. At that time the Justice Department had information that Yugoslav criminals wanted to kill him. This time there is no indication of who is behind the threats.

Newspaper Takes Intelligence Service to Court

The Telegraaf daily has brought a fast court procedure against the Dutch Intelligence Service AIVD to prohibit them from following the paper’s journalists and listening into their phone conversations. The paper says that the phones of four of its journalists have been tapped, including the editors-in-chief. The case is also being brought on behalf of the Dutch Association of Journalists and the committee of editors-in-chief.

One in Nine Women Has been Raped

A report of the Rutgers Nisso Group has reported that one in nine Dutch women has been raped at least once. In half of the cases the attacker is known – partners, neighbors or family members. Another 17% has been confronted with an attempt to rape. Four percent of girls under the age of 16 have been victims of group rape. Only 8% of the victims complain to the police.

Chinese Embassy Damaged; Netherlands to Reimburse

During a demonstration in front of the Chinese embassy, the building was damaged. One hundred forty-two people were arrested. The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen (Christian Democrats) has apologized. The Dutch government will pay for repairs.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Liberal Party Warns of Potential Unrest in Jails

Liberal Party Parliamentarian Fred Teeven says that life-endangering situations could occur if Deputy Minister of Justice Albayrak (Labor) closes part of the jail in Vught. The terrorists and dangerous criminals jailed in this department of 82 cells could not be held elsewhere. If the department is closed, these people would have to be moved to another facility together with regular criminals, with unpredictable results.

Romania Criminals are a Plague

The police say that groups of Romanian criminals are trying to sell fake gold rings near gas stations on the highways. This is often accompanied by threats. The police define the situation as “a plague.” Since January 2009, there have been 292 complaints, mostly in the province of Limburg.

Social Security Premium Often not Paid

There are 250,000 people who do not pay their Social Security. A new law will try to give social insurance companies the possibility of putting a lien on salaries in order collect the premiums.

Poll: Population Worried about Increasing Asocial Behavior and Declining Tolerance

A poll by the research bureau Trendbox has found that the main issues which worry people in the Netherlands are the increasing asocial behavior and the growing lack of tolerance. These two subjects were mentioned by 50% of the population. Thirty-nine percent of those interviewed cited the economic recession. The increasing popularity of Geert Wilders and the Freedom Party were mentioned by 36%.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Amsterdam: Taxi Anarchy – Client Killed by Driver

In Amsterdam a cab driver beat up and killed a potential client at the central Leidseplein taxi station. This station is known as being run by gangster drivers who refuse short fares and quote extremely high prices to potential passengers. If the person then decides not to get into the taxi, these drivers threaten them. Alderman Hans Gerson said that there is an emergency situation in the Amsterdam taxi world. At that particular station Moroccan drivers in particular are causing the problems. Gerson added that “we must immediately deal with this scum.”

Minister of Foreign Affairs Attacks Rotterdam Mayor’s Behavior

Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen (Christian Democrat) has severely criticized Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb. When Aboutaleb went to Morocco he took the initiative to talk to the Moroccan minister of foreign affairs. The conversation addressed issues such as family law and double nationality. Verhagen called Aboutaleb’s behavior extremely unsuitable and unwise. He has asked his colleague Minister of Interior Guusje ter Horst (Labor) to reprimand the Rotterdam mayor.

Cabinet will Investigate Whether there are Shari’a Courts

Minister of Justice Ernst Hirsch Ballin (Christian Democrat) will investigate whether there are Shari’a courts functioning in the Netherlands. Parliament had asked the government to clarify if mosques or imams in the Netherlands are passing judgments on financial or family affairs according to Shari’a law. Hirsch Ballin added that there cannot be a parallel structure in the Netherlands which undermines the Dutch legal system. There are also investigations underway about possible polygamous marriages and Islamic marriages which precede civil ceremonies, another matter which is illegal in the Netherlands.,2

Many Amsterdam Children Go to Schools in Developing Countries

Almost 1,200 children from Amsterdam attend schools in countries such as Egypt, Morocco and Ghana. According to the parents, the children can thus keep a better connection with their own culture in these countries and study the Qur’an. The original idea of allowing children to go to school abroad was meant for children who attended schools in neighboring Belgium or Germany. Alderman Asscher (Labor) said that in the future permits will not be given so easily. If these children return to the country they often do not speak correct Dutch and have integration problems.