Sunday, January 31, 2010

Academic: Prime Minister Disturbed Work of Intelligence Agency

Prof. Bob de Graaff, an expert on intelligence work, has said that the Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende (Christian Democrat) severely hindered the work of the Dutch Intelligence Services in preparation for the war in Iraq. From the report by the Davids Inquiry Commission, it emerges that the British and the Americans provided secret information directly to the prime minister’s office behind the back of the general intelligence service AIVD and the military service MIVD. This caused great annoyance in the intelligence services. The MIVD later discovered that the information it had received from the British was far more neutral than what the prime minister had gotten. De Graaff says that from the Davids Report, it becomes clear that warnings and nuances from Dutch intelligence services were neglected by the cabinet.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Police Commander: Computer Problems a Catastrophe

Peter-Jaap Aalbersberg, the commander of the regional police in IJsselland, has sent a confidential letter to the police body responsible for computers, saying: “The non-functioning of our systems hits the main artery of my organization.” According to the NOVA TV program, the letter does not refer only to a weeklong breakdown of the computer system in parts of the country, but also to the poor functioning of the entire system. The police trade union ACP earlier this week presented a “black book” on the failures of the police computer system to the council of police commanders. Minister Guusje ter Horst says that as soon as the temporary problems are solved, an external body will be charged with investigating the matter thoroughly.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Foreign Minister Criticizes Minister of Interior

The Minister of Interior Guusje ter Horst (Labor) has again irritated her colleague Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen (Christian Democrats), saying that the West should start peace negotiations with the Taliban. Verhagen said on radio that Ter Horst should mind her own business. He also said that it would be a great idea if she started to talk to the police unions on how to make The Netherlands safer.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Zaltbommel: After Threats by Hooligans, Mayor Needs Protection

Mayor Albert van den Bosch of Zaltbommer has been given police protection in view of the violence and intimidation of the town’s population by 50-60 young Moroccan hooligans. The mayor says that the hoodlums vary in age from 10-25. Parliamentarian De Krom (Liberals) says that violence by Moroccan youngsters seems to be increasing and may get out of control. Labor parliamentarian Dijsselbloem said that the police have insufficient staff and that Minister of the Interior Guusje ter Horst (Labor) wants to save even further on police expenses, although there is need for strengthening the force. The Moroccan Al Amal organization in the town says that it has also been threatened by these youngsters.,1

Monday, January 25, 2010

Squad Commanders: Company Commander Must Undergo Psychological Testing

The squad commanders of a platoon whose members refused to carry out a reconnaissance assignment in September 2008 in Afghanistan, will bring a complaint to the Inspector-General of the army against the then company commander. Meanwhile, he has been promoted from the rank of captain to that of major. The company commander had told them “An order is an order,” in German (this is a typical Nazi expression). He added that he didn’t care who would be killed. The complainants called the commander “dangerous” and want him to be submitted to psychological investigation. They also mentioned that they had to beg their American and Australian colleagues for equipment, as theirs was inadequate. The Australians called the Dutch a “beggars army.”,1

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dutch Wartime Government Knew About Queen’s Father’s SS Membership

The Dutch wartime government in London knew that Queen Beatrix’s father Prince Bernhard had been a member of the SS before he married her mother, the late Queen Juliana. This was discovered when new parts of the Dutch national archives were opened recently. The historian Cees Fasseur, who specializes in the monarchy, says that the then Queen Wilhelmina and Juliana were probably told about this only after the Second World War. In an interview which appeared only after his death in 2004, Prince Bernhard admitted his SS membership for the first time.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Former Senior EU Official: Dutch Central Bank President Should Resign

Jules Muis, former director-general of the European Commission, has said that President Nout Wellink of De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), the Dutch central bank, should have resigned in order to renew confidence in the bank. Muis appeared before the parliamentary committee which is investigating the Dutch financial system. He said that the DNB should have seen the risk of an economic system crisis years ago and recognized its importance for the Dutch economy which has such a large financial sector. Muis added that he had listened to the arguments of the DNB in its defense and compared them to the elementary school kid who comes late and claims that the bridge over the canal was open.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Increase in Carbon Dioxide Emissions in Amsterdam

In the period 2006-2008 the emissions of carbon dioxide in Amsterdam increased from 4,550 kilotons to 4,730 kilotons. This is despite the fact that, since 2007, the municipality has had a policy to significantly reduce such emissions. Alderman Marijke Vos has informed the municipal council about this. She adds that measures by the municipality often require a long period of preparation.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Poll: Public Dissatisfied with Prime Minister

A poll by the Maurice de Hond Poll Services has found that the public’s confidence in Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende (Christian Democrat) has never been so low in the eight years he has been in office. His rating is now four out of 10. Only 16% of the public would want Balkenende to be re-elected. Seventy percent of the population agree with the criticism on Balkenende’s reaction to the Davids report on the war in Iraq. Only 17% support him.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Chairman of Commission of Inquiry Attacks Prime Minister

Willibrord Davids, former chairman of the Supreme Court, headed the inquiry commission on the Dutch involvement in the Iraq war. Its report was highly critical of the Dutch government, headed by Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende. The commission concluded that there was no international legal basis for the American-British attack, which the Dutch government had supported politically. Now Davids criticized Balkenende’s reaction to the report, saying that the prime minister has stated that there are certain situations when international law doesn’t have to be respected. This legal position is one the government had rejected at the time when it supported the Iraq war.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Health Services Investigate Physical Abuse During Qur’an Lessons

The Dutch Health Services (GGD Nederland) will investigate reports of physical abuse of children during Qur’an lessons. This was announced by the Minister of Integration Eberhard van der Laan (Labor). In The Hague the GGD has already discovered that children are systematically beaten during such lessons. Mosques in Tilburg and Amsterdam have already announced that they will not cooperate with the authorities on this issue.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Investigation Commission Extremely Critical of Government’s Attitude on Iraq

A commission of inquiry, presided over by former Supreme Court President Willibrord Davids, has submitted an extremely critical report on the Dutch political support for the American Iraq campaign before it started. The report says that, according to international law, there was no legal basis for this. The government said falsely that the Dutch intelligence services had an independent position on the matter and the government selected the information as it suited it. The report also said that Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende had shown little leadership in the matter.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Culemborg: Municipality Document Mentions Moroccan Street Scum

An internal memorandum of the Culemborg Municipality states that Moroccans have for years already been threatening their own neighborhood, but they are also criminally involved elsewhere in the town. Police figures speak about 21 active members from 15 families in one group of criminals, plus 29 “rising stars,” youngsters at the beginning of their career. The internal report calls them “Moroccan street scum.” It further mentions an increase in problematic youngsters under 12 years old. The report dates from before the new riots between Moroccans and Moluccans in the town since New Year’s Eve.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dutch Security Services Extremely Poor

Several Dutch security companies have confirmed that they can only offer extremely poor services in view of the low pay they receive. RenĂ© Westerman, director of the Limburg Beveiliging company, says that the problem is not limited to Schiphol Amsterdam airport (where a Nigerian terrorist recently passed unchecked through the screening) but includes security services nationwide. The fees paid are so low that one cannot provide adequate service. There is no way a company can win a tender and supply what it promises. He added that “the clients want a Mercedes for the price of a small car.”,1

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Police Chiefs: We are Increasingly Powerless against Criminals

A number of police regional chiefs have expressed their concern about increasing criminality. Amsterdam Police Chief Bernard Welten has said that the number of holdups in his region increased by more than 10% to 545 in 2009. He added that while in the past mainly banks, post offices and gas stations were the targets, there are now more such attacks on small businesses and civilians. He said that the Amsterdam police also has increasing difficulty to cope with crooks and people who commit fraud on the internet or with credit cards. Welten said that more police attention will be given to a target group of several hundred people.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Venezuela Warns Netherlands Again

The Venezuelan government has once again claimed that the United States is using the Dutch Antilles to prepare attacks on Venezuela. US military planes are entering Venezuelan air space regularly from bases on Aruba and Curacao. The Venezuelan government says that it does not believe the Dutch excuse that these bases serve the US to fight against drug trade.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Culemborg: Concrete Barriers to Protect Moluccan Neighborhood from Moroccans

After riots in the last several days between Moroccans and Moluccans in the town of Culemborg, it has been decided to construct concrete barriers at the entrance to the Moluccan neighborhood. On Sunday night Moroccan youngsters threw rocks through the windows of Moluccan homes, despite a heavy police presence. The police think that there about 50 youngsters involved on each side. Police Chief Van Zwam is not convinced that the strong police presence will be sufficient, saying: “Some of these youngsters want to be arrested because it will give them status.” Mayor Roland van Schelven hopes that the authorities’ conversations with the two sides will, in the long term, lead to solutions.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

British Reporter Exposes Deadly Lapse in Amsterdam Airport Security

A Sunday Express reporter has exposed a deadly lapse in Amsterdam airport security, five days after a Nigerian terrorist, on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, caused an explosion on the plane. The journalist, Stuart Clark, took a syringe with insulin onto a plane going from Amsterdam to London. Airport security failed to find it. He claims that he went through security completely unchecked.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mayor of Nijmegen: Pestering Firemen is New Sport

Mayor of Nijmegen and Former Minister Thom de Graaf (D66) says that it seems that it has become a sport for hooligans to bother firemen trying to do their work, unless the special mobile unit of the police is on the scene. Again this year firemen and others have been disturbed in their work. Last year a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a fire engine. The person was caught and given a two-year jail sentence. Several firemen have been hindered or attacked in other towns in The Netherlands as well.,1

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year’s Eve: More than 100 Arrests in Utrecht

The police arrested 112 people in the Utrecht region on New Year’s Eve. Twenty-five of them are still being held; eight will be brought before a judge tomorrow. More than 30 cars were burned. Despite this, the police considered the situation to be under control.