Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cucumber War with Germany

An official of the Ministry of Health in Hamburg has stated that the Netherlands has supplied a cucumber infected with the deadly EHEC bacteria to Germany. He said that the Netherlands know who had supplied the cucumbers, but that it does not want to release the information in order to protect the growers. According to the Dutch Minister of Health Schippers, no such infected cucumbers have been found in the Netherlands. The Dutch growers are greatly worried as Germany is their main market.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Jewish Community Takes University to Court

The Jewish community in Amsterdam and the Dutch Orthodox community NIK have brought a court case against the animal sciences group of Wageningen University. Ronnie Eisenman, Chairman of the Amsterdam community said that the court case was brought because it considers that the university reports do not prove independence or a sufficient scientific base. All this is in the context of a proposed private law to ban unstunned ritual slaughter. In an interview in the Volkskrant daily, international expert Joe Regenstein of Cornell University in the U.S. took a highly negative view of the Wageningen report. He claimed that the report gave too little detail in order to reproduce the experiments which is an essential element of any scientific research. Regenstein called the report “political.”



Sunday, May 29, 2011

Amsterdam: Mayor Doubts Capability to Deal with Mass Events

Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan has doubts whether Amsterdam is capable of dealing with mass events. He referred to the festivities on the Queens Birthday with 800 000 participants and those after Ajax won the national soccer-league, which brought 100 000 participants together. Van der Laan said: “In such a group there are many people who have drunk too much or have taken too many pills. They want that something goes wrong.” He mentioned that on the Queens Birthday the ambulances had to deal with 575 people who had drunk until they were in coma.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Malaysia Halts Dutch Halal Meat Imports

De Volkskrant has reported that Malaysia has stopped importing halal chicken meat from the Netherlands. This is due to the fact that there is no certification authority for halal in the country. Malaysian inspectors who were in the Netherlands are concerned that animals are stunned before being killed, which is not allowed in ritual slaughter.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dutch Citizens Do Not Want to Pay for “Wasteful Greeks”

An inquiry by the daily Telegraaf showed that almost 90% of the Dutch people who responded are of the opinion that Greece should leave the Euro and return to the drachma. Most of the respondents consider the Greeks wasteful. They want the Netherlands to stop immediately the transfer of funds to Greece.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Leader of Catholic Order Dismissed after Support of Pedophile Priest

Herman Spronck, the head of the Salesian Order in the Netherlands has been dismissed forthwith by the Church Commission of the Catholic Order in Brussels. The Pope will have to decide whether he can continue as a priest. Spronck had said that [sexual] relations between adults and children do not always have to be harmful. Spronck had also protected a 73 year old priest who had been a board member of the organization of pedophiles, Martijn. The priest has been condemned twice for sexual offenses.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Graffiti Found on Two Jewish Locations

In the past days, two Jewish locations have been defaced with graffiti. The former synagogue in the town of Oss which is a municipal monument was spray-painted. To remove the paint would cost thousands of Euros. In the town of Leek, the Jewish school was defaced with a swastika and signs of an international Nazi group. Recently, the progressive Jewish community in the north of the Netherlands started to use the school again after it had been unused for 70 years. The teachers were upset by the graffiti.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Four Times a Week, Suicides on Train Tracks

About four times a week in the Netherlands, someone commits suicide on railroad tracks. This results from a study by psychiatrist Cornelis van Houwelingen. He found that in big cities in particular and close to institutions for psychiatric care there is a bigger risk for suicides on railroad tracks. According to Van Houwelingen, at least two thirds of people who commit suicide have psychiatric problems. He has identified 60 specific risk locations.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thirteen Soccer Fans still Under Arrest in Amsterdam

After Ajax from Amsterdam won the national championship, at the festivities on Sunday night, 62 supporters were arrested. Most of them had committed public violence. Thirteen supporters are still under arrest. The others have paid a fine or will be brought before a court.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Poland May Take the Netherlands to the European Court of Justice

Polish Minister of Employment, Jolanta Fedak told the Polish paper Gazeta Wyborcza that it may take the Netherlands to the European Court of Justice if it expels unemployed Poles. Fedak said that it cannot be that a country first collects taxes from foreigners if they work there and then expels them when they become unemployed. She added that equal treatment of employees from old and new member states of the European Union is a priority for her.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Employees of Philips Accused of Bribing Polish Hospitals

Employees of Philips, one of the largest Dutch firms, are accused by the Polish Justice Department of having bribed directors of hospitals in Poland. The directors bought equipment from Philips in turn. An intermediary has said that the bribery fund for this purpose was 12.5 million Euro. The intermediary has gone to the Polish Justice Department. Twenty-three people are being prosecuted.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Police have Backlog of Thousands of Child Porno Files

The Dutch Police department has a backlog of almost 1,000 child porno files which are not being handled. At the end of December 2010, the number was 770. Much of the increase in the delay is due to the fact that 75 special detectives are involved in researching the case of Robert M., who is suspected of abusing tens of children in Amsterdam. His case also brought many additional complaints from worried parents about possible abuse of their children in various child centers, sport clubs and scout organizations.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Amsterdam has High Use of Cocaine

Inhabitants of Amsterdam are major users of cocaine. They use twice as much cocaine per head as towns such as Utrecht and Den Bosch. This results from research by the environment and Health Institute (RIVM) and the Water Research Institute (KWR). The researchers calculated the cocaine use from the concentration of the drug in waste water and the known quantity of waste water per person. According to the researchers, this is a better method of analysis than questioning people because many give a socially acceptable answer.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Soccer Fans Destroy Buses

After the soccer cup final between Ajax and Twente in Rotterdam, 400 Ajax fans could not return to Amsterdam because the bus company had removed 12 buses due to vandalism by the Ajax fans on the incoming buses. During the game, 32 fans were arrested because of vandalism and insults shouted. The police stated that the atmosphere during the game was good, however.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chief Rabbi: More and More Dutch Jews are Afraid

Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs said on National Liberation Day that more and more Jews are afraid. He added “Many Jews think back to the prelude of the Second World War. There is fear.” He said that during the war, his father’s windows were stoned and nowadays his windows are stoned. Jacobs added: “If I walk on Saturday afternoon to the synagogue, people yell out insults to me. Not only near the mosque, but near the hockey field by the autochthonous Dutch. A Jewish man who studies on Saturday afternoon with me doesn’t dare walk alone in the street. The board of our organization has prohibited me to travel alone on the train or to be near a station.” Furthermore, the Rabbi mentioned the debate on the prohibition of ritual slaughter. He said: “Hitler also started with a prohibition of kosher slaughter.”

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Doctors Becoming Difficult to Reach

More than 30% of Dutch patients consider that general practitioners are difficult to reach. In 2008, the Minister of Health stated that general practitioners have to pick up the phone within 2 minutes and an emergency line within 30 seconds. Research by the inspectorate for health and the Dutch patient consumer federation in that year showed that there was a problem in reaching doctors by phone.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Most Dutch Elevators Unsafe

About 60,000 Dutch elevators are unsafe. This is out of a total of 93,000. Every year about 500 people are wounded either from broken bones or from finger wounds. This results from research by the professional organization VLR. Wim Koster, Director of the elevator company Kone claims that the number of accidents published is probably only the tip of the iceberg.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Urk: Arson against Home of Mayor

A group of about 15 youngsters tried to burn down the home of the Mayor of Urk because they disagreed with his strict policies. The fire went out by itself. So far, no one was arrested. The Mayor said that substantial damage was caused to the apartment complex where he lives. This is the second weekend that there were attacks on the Mayor’s home. During Queen’s Night on 30 April, 150 angry youngsters threw stones and bottles at the house.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Memorial Day Turns into Dispute Day

Many disputes characterized 4 May, the annual Memorial Day which was initially intended to memorialize Dutch victims of the Second World War. A former labor parliamentarian, Mei Li Vos said that members of the Freedom Party should not participate because they consider national socialists as socialists. Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders thereupon called his supporters to participate massively in the national remembrance. In Culemborg, the auther Grimbert Rost van Tonningen was asked to speak. His parents, from whom he was estranged in his later life were leading Nazi collaborators. He called for a national memorial day where collaborators could also remember their dead. Jewish leaders called the invitation to him an abuse of the meaning of the annual memorial day.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Much Aggression Against Firemen

Eleven fire corps have been warned by the labor inspector that they do not take enough measures to prevent aggression and violence against firefighters. Half of the firemen have been hindered from working at least once with aggression. People stand on water hoses or throw things at them. If the corps will not start complaining about and registering complaints, they will receive fines from the labor inspectors.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Parts of Monument Stolen

Six bronze wreaths have been stolen from the Resistance monument in Roermond. This was made public by a spokesman of the municipality. The monument had been unveiled 60 years ago by Prince Bernard. It memorializes 22 resistance fighters from the Province of Limburg who died during the Second World War in the battle against the German occupier. It is considered the province’s official monument for the resistance.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Amsterdam: Almost 300 People Arrested on Queen’s Birthday

Almost 300 people were arrested on the Queen’s birthday and the night following in Amsterdam. The main reasons were public drunkenness, vandalism and fighting. This was announced by a spokesperson of the police. The ambulances had to go out 575 times mainly for alcohol related problems and fights. This was announced by the spokesperson of the municipality.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Urk: Police in Fight with 150 Youngsters

On Friday night, the night of the Queen’s birthday holiday, the police protected the house of Mayor Jaap Kroon from 150 youngsters who threatened to storm it. The youngsters threw stones and bottles. The police then dispersed them with force. Eight youngsters were arrested. The town has major problems with youngsters who drive drunk on scooters and cars throughout the year.