Sunday, February 28, 2010

De Hoop Scheffer: The Netherlands Damages NATO

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer (Christian Democrat), former secretary-general of NATO and former Dutch foreign minister, has said that The Netherlands has damaged the image of NATO. He was referring to the upcoming departure of Dutch troops from Afghanistan, despite the request of the current Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to maintain a smaller mission there for another year. De Hoop Scheffer added that the letter by the current secretary-general, asking for this, was written in close consultation with the Dutch government.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Former Minister Calls Labor Party Leader a Liar

Former Liberal Minister Rita Verdonk, who has established her own party, said that Labor Party Leader Wouter Bos is a liar. Bos, who recently resigned as deputy prime minister, said that he didn’t know that NATO would request that the Dutch military stay in Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen (Christian Democrats) has said that Bos knew about this. Verdonk remarked, “You are a liar.” She added that Bos had blushed the whole evening, a phenomenon one sees mostly on people who are lying.

Former Minister of the Interior: Prime Minister Lies

Former Minister of the Interior Guusje ter Horst (Labor), who has recently resigned, says that Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen (Christian Democrats) threatened to resign if the Dutch troops would leave Afghanistan as planned. Prime Minister Balkenende’s denial of Verhagen’s threats is a lie.,2

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Liberal Parliamentarian: Prime Minister is Liar

Liberal Parliamentarian Stef Blok said that Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende (Christian Democrat) is a liar. Blok mentioned that Balkenende claimed, at a meeting of the Christian Democrats in Nijmegen that Labor and the Liberals are blocking the discussion of the crisis law in the senate. Blok remarked that this is the third time that the Christian Democrats are lying about this. Earlier Christian Democrat Ministers Maxime Verhagen (Foreign Affairs) and Camile Eurlings (Transport) said that the Liberals were delaying adoption of the law. Blok added that it is the Labor Party and the Christian Union which are responsible for the delays.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Neighborhood Spokesperson: Moroccans Increasingly Steal from Each Other

Joke Padmos, spokesperson for the Amsterdam’s Slotervaart neighborhood council, says that there has been a major increase in cases of Moroccans stealing from other Moroccans, for instance dowries. The neighborhood council chairman, Ahmed Marcouch has received letters from other parts of The Netherlands regarding similar problems. As a result, 1,400 families in a part of the neighborhood where burglaries increased by 67% last year, will be supplied with an anti-burglary substance with to be sprayed on their belongings. The substance contains microdots of synthetic DNA so that if stolen goods are found, ownership can be proved. Similar projects in other Dutch towns have reduced burglaries by an average of 50%.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Former Army Commander: Labor Party Let Dutch Soldiers Down

Former Army Commander Dick Berlijn has heavily criticized the Labor Party for insisting that all Dutch military should leave Afghanistan. (This has led to the fall of the government.) Berlijn said that the Labor Party doesn’t care about Afghanistan, but is mainly concerned about its own interests and its success in the municipal elections. He says that Labor parliamentarian Martijn van Dam has distorted the data when he says that the Dutch soldiers are the third largest group in that country. He has ignored the fact that other countries have many more troops in other locations. (In a later statement, Berlijn said that the Dutch soldiers are being treated like firemen who, in the middle of their work, are told that the house they are trying to save is worthless. Trouw, 20 February 2010)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

More than Six Hundred Soccer Hoodlums Expelled from Amsterdam

On Thursday, in anticipation of the soccer match between the Italian Juventus and Ajax from Amsterdam, more than 600 hoodlums were expelled from Amsterdam by the police. Not only fans of the two clubs were involved, but also violent supporters of other Dutch teams and even some from the Polish Legia Warschau who had come to Amstedam. All the windows had been destroyed on some metro and tram cars. Even a door of a metro car had been broken out. Amsterdam’s public transport company GVB said it had never experienced such a thing.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Former EU Commissioner: Prime Minister Should Resign

Former EU Commissioner and former leader of the Liberal Party Frits Bolkestein has said that Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende (Christian Democrats) should resign, in view of the conclusions of the Davids Inquiry on the Iraq war. Bolkestein said that the government should have known in 2002 that there was no basis to start the war. He said that he was then a EU Commissioner and, in that capacity, had a conversation with the head of the Dutch Military Intelligence Service (MID). He was told that there were no links between Iraq and Al-Qaida, that Iraq was no threat to its neighboring countries, and that its chemical weapons had been destroyed. Bolkestein said: “If I can learn that in a half hour, the minister of foreign affairs should have been able to learn it in the same time.”

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Prime Minister: Amsterdam Mayor Should Behave Normally

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende (Christian Democrats) has said that Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen (Labor) should behave normally. There is an agreement among the government parties that coffee shops which sell soft drugs should not be located within 250 meters of schools and the mayor should enforce it. Cohen says that this is not a good policy and he will not enforce it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dutch Economy Shrank 4% in 2009

The Central Bureau of Statistics has announced that in 2009 the Dutch economy shrank by 4%. This is the greatest decline ever in a one-year period. The CBS also announced that the number of people employed was 150,000 in the last quarter of 2009, compared to that of 2008.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Parliamentarian: Stop Violence against Hospital Staff

The parliamentarian Fred Teeven (Liberal Party) says that hospital employees are so intimidated by violence by Moroccans that they are afraid to even complain. He was reacting to a recent incident at the hospital in Harderwijk in which family members of someone who had died there attacked the hospital personnel because they were not allowed access to the body. Other recent violence has occurred in hospitals in Bergen op Zoom and Nijmegen.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Minister Ter Horst Leads Breaches of Privacy

The Bits of Freedom digital civil rights organization has given the Big Brother Award to Minister of Interior Guusje ter Horst (Labor). This “prize” is awarded to those institutions and people which promote breaches of privacy. According to the jury Ter Horst demonstrates “a dangerous lack of nuance” in the debate on the right to privacy. One example was her proposal to keep scanned car license numbers “even if people are not suspected of anything.”

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Activists: Queen is Stupidest Fur Wearer in The Netherlands

The animal protection organization Bont voor Dieren (Fur for Animals) has carried out an internet poll to choose the stupidest fur wearer in the country. Queen Beatrix received 41% of the 15,000 votes. The organizations’ director Claudia Linssen said that the queen wears furs regularly and sets the wrong example to citizens. She added: “I hope that by getting this nomination, the queen will understand that it is cruel to be wearing fur because it is causes unnecessary suffering to animals and pollution.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rotterdam Police Chief Leaves after Failure in Dealing with Riots

Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb has announced that the Chief of Rotterdam Police Aad Meijboom has resigned. Meijboom had been heavily criticized after the police failed to deal properly with riots at a beach festival in August. The police knew that hooligans planned actions, but they did not take proper precautions. The hoodlums pushed the police back over the dunes. In order to protect themselves, the police were shooting continuously – mainly in the air. However, one person was killed by police as a result of the shooting.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Caretakers Afraid at Work

Caretakers in large institutions have incurred the largest percentage of security incidents at work, in comparison to other employees at major institutions. About 22% of doctors, nurses, receptionists and cleaning personnel in care institutions are suffering from insecure situations. In schools, the percentage is 14.1%. More caretakers than other professions feel that employers have cut back on security personnel at their places of work.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Twenty Percent of Young Non-Western Immigrants Unemployed

Recent data from the Central Bureau of Statistics show that 20.5% of non-western youngsters were unemployed in 2009. The year before the percentage was 16.8. Whereas unemployment among all autochtonous Dutch was 4%, among non-westerners it was 11%. The unemployment among autochtonous was 9.6%.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

State Subsidized Radio Station Makes Trailer on Future Murder of Politician

The subsidized radio station FunX has prepared a trailer for a movie as yet unmade in which the right-wing PVV party leader Geert Wilders is being murdered. The trailer, which is being shown on a website linked to the radio station, also shows people mourning Wilders’ death and wreaths with pictures of him. The PVV party has asked the minister of education how a subsidized station can show such programs and why the taxpayer must finance this.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Leader of Student Party in Municipal Elections Shown Naked on Poster

The Student058 party which is running in the municipal elections of Leeuwarden has put up a poster showing its leader Michel Hania naked. His penis is covered by a glass of beer. The picture was taken in the Assembly Hall of the Leeuwarden Municipality.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Labor Leader Wouter Bos: We made a big stupid mistake

Labor Leader Wouter Bos has said in a RTL TV broadcast that each party is entitled to make a big stupid mistake in its electoral campaign. He was reacting to the proposal of two Labor parliamentarians Pierre Heijnen and Paul Kalma to delay municipal elections till the weather gets warmer. Bos said they had been rightly criticized in the faction meeting on Tuesday. The proposal led to many jokes by members of other parties. The Socialist Party offered Labor free hats and the Christian Democrats offered pea soup, to keep them warm.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Students Occupy Parts of Several Universities

Students in Nijmegen have occupied part of Radboud University. They want the university board to declare that students should not be hurt by the forthcoming reduction in spending on higher education. Similar strikes are taking place at the universities of Amsterdam and Utrecht.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Severe Mistakes do not Hinder Prosecutors in their Careers

The Zembla TV program has analyzed 90 criminal court cases. The program has shown that the prosecutors in these cases made major mistakes. As a result of this, the cases had to be dismissed or innocent people were sent to jail. The prosecutors concerned have not been dismissed or demoted. Some of them were even promoted or have become judges. The prosecution claims that the producers of the program were careless in their analysis.