Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Due to Strike, Many ATM Machines are Empty of Cash

Due to the strike by the money transporter Brink’s-Nederland, more and more teller machines are empty of cash.  At present, 670 machines of the big Rabobank no longer hold any cash.  That means that about 30% of the machines are thus useless.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Zeeland: Jewish Community Shocked by Destruction of Graves

The Jewish community of Zeeland is shocked by the destruction of two graves in the Jewish cemetery in Vlissingen. There are no marks on the vandalized stones, so it is not clear whether or not it is an anti-Semitic act. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Haarlem: New Synagogue Not Recognizable for Security Reasons

The new synagogue of the Jewish community in Haarlem has been inaugurated.  It is located in the suburb of Heemstede. It is not recognizable in any way as a synagogue from the outside for security reasons. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Ten Thousand Complaints about Fireworks, and Counting

The number of complaints about the danger of fireworks is rapidly increasing.  A mere three days after the opening of the complaint call center, 10,000 complaints have already been received.  The call center is the initiative of 25 local branches of the Green-Left party.  According to the center, more and more people are disturbed by the hard explosions, the precipitous use of fireworks, and the unsafe situation in the street.  A spokesman of Green-Left in Rotterdam, Arne Bonte, said, “One sees that people are blowing up intentionally waste-paper baskets, chairs, and even cars.”

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Police Union: No Manpower to Control Hooligans on New Year’s Eve

Last year hundreds of hooligans were condemned to house arrest for this year’s New Year’s Eve. A spokesman of the police trade union NPB said that the police has too little manpower this New Year’s Eve to control that these hooligans stay at home. The police however said that it will be able to carry out controls.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Over 2000 Complaints about Fireworks

On Wednesday the site for complaints about hindrance from firework was opened. By Thursday morning the number of complaints stood at 2200. Most complaints are about very heavy fireworks. The total number will presented to Parliament.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Leading Dutch Criminal Murdered in Istanbul

Ali Akgun, one of the main suspects in a series of murders in Amsterdam, has been killed in Istanbul.  He was waiting in his Bentley car at a red light and was shot from nearby with automatic weapons.  Akgun had been involved in the drug trade.  In his youth, he was the captain of the Turkish football club Turkiyemspor, a leading football club in Amsterdam.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Another Daily Eliminates Articles of Suspected Journalist

The AD Daily has also eliminated from its archives all articles written by the journalist Perdiep Ramesar.  These include articles Ramesar wrote over years, up until 2007, for the Haagche Courant, and later for AD.  The editor-in-chief of AD said that since neither the journalist nor his supervisors are employed by AD, research into the matter would be superfluous, as they would not suffer any consequences.  Earlier, the daily Trouw had fired Ramesar for apparently inventing parts of interviews with fictitious people.   

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

More than 5 billion Euro lost due to Internet Fraud

During the past two years more than a million Dutchmen have become victims of internet fraud. In total they have been cheated out of more than 5 billion Euro. This results from the Fraudehelpdesk, the national center for reporting on fraud. Many victims have not complained with the police out of shame or because they have little trust in the police. Victims often think that the police is busy with other things such as handing out traffic fines.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Trouw daily deletes 126 articles of untrustworthy journalist

The daily Trouw has deleted 126 articles of the journalist Perdiep Ramesar who was fired last month. The daily admits that Ramesar had used during 5.5 year “an unexplainable number of anonymous sources, which could not be found.”  An investigation commission says that Ramesar often used fictitious names, which could not be verified by the editors. They also say that his bosses have not controlled him sufficiently.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Poll: Government Parties Lose most Seats

In a poll taken by pollster Maurice de Hond the two government parties are found to be extremely unpopular. The liberal VVD of Prime Minister Mark Rutte which holds 41 seats would get, according to the poll 18 seats, if elections were held now. The other government party, Labor (PvdA) which holds 38 seats would go down to 10 seats. Together the government parties with 28 seats would get less seats than the Progress party (PVV) led by Geert Wilders which according to the poll would get 30 seats as against 15 seats in the current parliament.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Intelligence Service listened in to Law Office

The general intelligence service AIVD has frequently listened in to the phone conversations of the law office Prakken d’Oliveira in Amsterdam. The office defended inter alia many people suspected of terror activities. According to the lawyers this has been confirmed by Minister of the Interior Ronald Plasterk. The commission of supervision of intelligence services CTIVD has concluded that the AIVD has acted wrongly by transcribing also conversations which were irrelevant to its investigations of terrorism.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Head of Intelligence Service: Jihadis are as Dutch as Wooden Shoes

Rob Bertholee, the head of the Dutch General Intelligence service AIVD has said at a congress in the United Sates that most of the Dutch jihadis who travel to Syria or Iraq are as Dutch as wooden shoes and windmills. Nevertheless they radicalize. Bertholee remarked that the jihadis come out of all layers of Dutch society, including very good families. Some have a university degree. There was even a medical doctor among them. He added that there are also criminal elements among them. Bertholee observed:  “once seven jihadis from one town left simultaneously and the crime figures thereupon decreased. Bertholee also mentioned culture conflicts, saying: “many are not accepted in Dutch society as Dutch nor among Dutch Moroccans as Moroccans.”  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Number of Homeless in the Netherlands Is Increasing

The Federatie Opvang in Amersfoort says that the number of homeless has increased in 2013 to over 60,000 people.  In 2012, the number was close to 58,000, and in 2010, it was 55,000.  The organization says that the new homeless are not people with psychological problems, but rather people who lose their home due to debts, unemployment or a too-high mortgage.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Most Dutch Cannabis Is Exported

A study done by the Scientific Research and Documentation Center (WODC) has found that 95% of cannabis grown in the Netherlands is exported. Even if cannabis becomes legal within the Netherlands, the issue of the criminality involved will not be solved.  These findings are a big disappointment for those who want to legalize the growing of cannabis because their argument, that with legalization the criminality ends, has been found worthless.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Dutch Nato Headquarters Possible Target of Muslim Terrorists

The Dutch Nato headquarters in the town of Brunssum are a possible target of Muslim terrorists. Mayor Luc Winants of the town confirms that he has been briefed about that. Fifteen hundred people work at the site. Additional security measures have been taken. Parliamentarian Joram Van Klaveren (VNL) has asked clarification about this issue from the Ministers of Defense and Safety and Justice.  

Monday, December 15, 2014

Parliamentary Opposition Attacks Lack of Information on Tax Deals

Four opposition parties say that the Minister of Finance refuses to give parliament an insight on deals the Tax Authority makes with international companies, such as Starbuck’s and Google.  This prevents parliament from properly functioning and controlling the Ministry of Finance.  It also creates lack of confidence in the fiscal authorities and what they promise individual companies in exchange for having them establish a commercial base in the Netherlands.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Amsterdam Killings Make Criminals Flee the Country

A number of leading criminals have left Amsterdam for abroad in order to avoid the murders occurring in Amsterdam.  This was said by Chief Police Commissioner Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg in an AT5 program.  He added that there is a very large territory outside the Netherlands where criminals can go into hiding.  The program in which the Chief Police Commissioner spoke dealt with the current wave in Amsterdam of murders of criminals by other criminals.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Dutch Cardinal remained silent about pedophilia of assistant-bishop

  1. In his just-published biography by journalist Ton Crijnen the Dutch cardinal Ad Simonis admits that he knew since 2000 that there were accusations of pedophilia against the assistant bishop of Utrecht Jan Nienhaus, who passed away later that year. Only in 2014 it became known that the Catholic Church had found in 2012 that Nienhaus was guilty of four cases of pedophilia. In 2011 it became known that Simonis had already in 1991 protected another pedophile priest.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Many Tensions in Dutch Society

The Social and Cultural Planning Bureau has polled 3,000 Dutchmen.  60% of those polled see tensions between Autochtonuos (native) Dutchmen and those of immigrant origins. Many see tensions between religious groups, between the poor and the rich, and between workers and employers.  Two-thirds of the Dutch think that the Netherlands is moving in the wrong direction.  Of these people, 85% blame the country’s elite, politicians, managers and the economically powerful. These elite are seen as serving their own interests and are perceived as not having any contact with the ordinary citizens nor with their concerns.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Billions Lost in International Development Aid?

There is no transparent view on the billions the Netherlands spends on international development aid.. The National Accountancy Office (Algemene Rekenkamer) says that one can speak about a “Development Aid Labyrinth,’ because there are so many countries which get so much aid for a multitude of projects. In particular concerning the money which is spent via international organizations it is unclear how much money is spent in each receiving country. Often it is not clear whether the aimed for progress is achieved. In 2013 the Netherlands spent 4.2 billion Euro on development aid.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Family Members of Plane Victims Accuse Netherlands

Twenty family members of those killed in the shot down Malaysian plane over Eastern Ukraine accuse the Netherlands of having totally mismanaged the factual and criminal investigation of the disaster. They have written so in a letter to Dutch Prime Minister Rutte. They want the United Nations to take over the investigation. The signatories of the letter come from Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands and the United States. Their lawyer Bob van der Goen says there is no leadership and no coordination by The Netherlands.

Monday, December 8, 2014

New Record of Suicides in the Netherlands

In each of the past six years the number of suicides in the Netherlands has increased. In 2013 1854 people committed suicide according to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). The CBS supposes that this development is linked to the economic crisis. Also at the beginning of the 1980s when the economic situation was difficult there was an increase in suicides in the Netherlands. It are nowadays mainly people between 40 and 65 who commit suicide. Seven out of ten people who commit suicide are male.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

State Taken to Court about Preservation of Data

The massive data collection regarding the internet, email and telephone behavior of all Dutch citizens has to be stopped immediately.  That is the demand of a court case brought by the Dutch Association of Criminal Lawyers, The Journalists’ Trade Union (NVJ) and the Privacy First Foundation.  Earlier this year, the European Court of Justice decided that the recording of phone and internet data was a heavy attack on privacy.  It remains unclear to what extent this collection of data was necessary for the fight against terrorism and criminality. Since 2009, all telecom companies are required to maintain, during one year, data on who called whom and when, and from what location.  Internet providers have to be able to tell, during half a year, who emailed whom and when, and when somebody logged in or out of the internet.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Brussels Admonishes the Netherlands Regarding Healthcare

The European Commission says that the Dutch law does not fully meet the European rules about the right of a patient to obtain healthcare in other European countries. The Commission wants to hear within two months which measures the Netherlands has taken to rectify this, otherwise the Commission may take the Netherlands to the European court. The Netherlands has to agree that patients have the right to receive care in other countries while declaring the costs in the Netherlands.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Psychological Problems Cost Society 20 Billion Euro Annually

A study conducted by the OESO, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, found that psychological problems cost Dutch society 20 billion Euro annually. This includes the costs of caretaking, sick leave, loss of production, and the incapacity to work.  The study also showed that two-thirds of the Dutchmen with psychological illness or complaints do go to work.  Compared to other countries, the overall situation in the Netherlands is bad.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Minister of Transport Lied About High Speed Train Line

A new book by Marcel van Silfhout and Andries van den Berg, titled Die Ontsporing, claims that the then-Minister of Transport, Tineke Netelenbos, lied when she said that the high speed line had to be put out to a public contract according to European rules.  When the bid proposal was put out, the Dutch railways (NS) were afraid to lose the contract and put in a far too high bid of 178 million Euro per year. The result was that they then had to buy cheap trains from AnsaldoBreda.  The Fyra trains that were supplied had too many problems and ultimately were returned to the manufacturers.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Majority of Dutchmen Think That Integration Has Failed

A poll done by Maurice de Hond among 2,500 interviewees shows that 56% believe that the integration of immigrants, which have come to the Netherlands after the war, has failed.  Only 14% consider that the integration has been a success.  These are mainly voters of the Liberal Democrats of D66 or of the Labor party.  Among those who believe that integration has failed, 82% hold the Labor party responsible, and 46% consider that the Liberals are also responsible.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

British Parliamentarian Surprised by Jewish Youngsters Wanting to Leave Netherlands

A British delegation led by the Labor parliamentarian, John Mann, visited the Netherlands.  That visit included a Jewish school.  Mann afterward said that he and his colleagues were surprised by the large number of pupils wanting to leave the Netherlands and immigrate to Israel.  He said that his delegation didn’t understand why the Dutch government remains silent about this issue.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Ethnic Tensions Lead to Major Fight in Asylum-Seekers Center

In the township of Overloon, seven hundred asylum seekers live in a former jail.  They mainly originate from Syria and Eritrea.  The central body which deals with asylum seekers, the COA, houses them in mixed groups.  After some Syrians complained about drunk Eritreans, the latter beat everybody who wasn’t black with sticks.  Fourteen people were wounded and three arrested.   The COA denies that it was an ethnic conflict, but the asylum seekers claim it was.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Rotterdam Mayor: People Wanting to Go to Syria Should Not Be Hindered

Rotterdam mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, who is a Muslim, says that youngsters who want to travel to Syria should be allowed to do so.  However, they should never be allowed to return again to the Netherlands.  His opinions oppose those of the Dutch government.  Aboutaleb considers that if somebody perceives the Dutch society as morally corrupt, the Dutch should not restrain him.  He should only return his passport. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Turkey Accuses Netherlands of Racism

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara writes about, “racist attacks which are incompatible with the historical links with the Netherlands”. The Turkish Ministry is critical about a Dutch report concerning Turkish organizations in the Netherlands.  That report claims that organizations such as Milli Gorus work against the integration of Turks in the Netherlands.  It is also critical of the claim that the influence of the Turkish government on Turkish organizations is still very big.  Furthermore, the Turks are negative about a report which claims that Turkish youngsters in the Netherlands perceive people who go to Syria as heroes.  Turkey asks, in its declaration, that the Netherlands ends initiatives and declarations which might be bad for international relations.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Youth Imam Stops Preaching After Getting Threatened

The Amsterdam Youth Imam, Yassin Elforkani, has stopped preaching because he is receiving threats from radical Muslims.  He said that he had concrete indications that he was at risk. The threats started a year ago.  Those who threaten him see him as a traitor and heretic because he advises youngsters not to travel to Syria and participate in the jihad. The police told Elforkani that, “it would be better if he would be less active for a certain time.”  As spokesman of the Contact Organization of Muslims and the Authorities (CMO), Elforkani is the best-known Dutch Muslim who criticizes the jihad.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Trade Union Chairman: Employers Exploit Personnel

The chairman of the FNV trade union, Ton Heerts, says that employers exploit employees on a major scale.  He claims that billions are stolen in this way.  He mentioned in particular large companies such as Albert Heijn, Shell, and AkzoNovo. Heerts said that the main problem is that collective labor agreements are not respected.  He saw huge problems with subcontractors who were paid less than what they were entitled to. The employers’ organizations, VNO-NCW and MKB Nederland, consider that Heerts is exaggerating.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ethnic Tensions Lead to VIolent Fight in Asylum-Seekers Center

In the township of Overloon, seven hundred asylum seekers live in a former jail.  They mainly originate from Syria and Eritrea.  The central body which deals with asylum seekers, the COA, houses them in mixed groups.  After some Syrians complained about drunk Eritreans, the latter beat everybody who wasn’t black with sticks.  Fourteen people were wounded and three arrested.   The COA denies that it was an ethnic conflict, but the asylum seekers claim it was.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cheap Foreign Labor Pushes Dutch Out of Work

The research institute, NCO, has undertaken a study on behalf of Minister Asscher (Social Affairs).  The study investigated the period between 2001-2011, and came to the conclusion that Dutch workers are pushed out of certain sectors by cheaper foreign labor from central and Eastern Europe.  This concerns mainly the building sector, industry and transport.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Many confidential Police Files Available on Internet

Due to a security leak at the police, a large number of extremely confidential police files have become accessible on Google. The files contain information on murders, robberies, criminal organizations and jihadi suspects. The files originated from a secret police unit and were accessible until last Tuesday. The leaked files contain many names, photographs, and addresses of dozens of suspects.  Also available were details about the police force itself, such as the names and phone numbers of detectives and prosecutors.  At fault is an internet manager of the police. For reasons that remain unclear, he put the files on a non-secure, private website of a family member. After all this became known the police removed the files.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Plague of Rats in Amsterdam

The number of complaints in Amsterdam regarding rat infestations keeps increasing.  In the first half of this year, there were almost a thousand complaints at the municipal health service, as compared to 1,760 in all of 2013.  The rats can reach the size of a cat. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Minister: More Transparency Necessary of Turkish organizations

Minister of Social Affairs and Employment Lodewijk Asscher (Labor) has received a report he ordered about the influence of Turkish organizations on their members living in the Netherlands. The researchers found a lack of transparency.  They did not succeed in determining to what extent bodies in Turkey interfere in the lifestyle of Turks in the Netherlands.  Minister Asscher now wants to talk with the Turkish authorities about the influence it exercises on Turkish migrant organizations in the Netherlands.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Jewish Umbrella Organization Criticizes Jews Commemorating German Soldiers

Both Allied and German soldiers are buried in the Haelen cemetery.  For the first time, the local Jewish community has included German soldiers in its commemoration services.  The Honorary Consul of Israel, Benoit Wesly, laid a wreath on behalf of Israel. The Orthodox rabbi of the Dutch army recited a prayer.  Joop Fransman, the chairman of the CJO, an umbrella body of Dutch Jewish organizations, criticized the commemoration and said that victims and not the perpetrators should be commemorated.  [While the German army was not in itself a criminal organization, it has participated in a large number of war crimes, including the murdering of Jews in the Holocaust.]

Monday, November 17, 2014

Labor party Expels Two Turkish Parliamentarians

The Labor party has expelled two Turkish parliamentarians, Selcuk Ozturk and Tunahan Kuzu, after they expressed strong disagreement with the integration policy of the party. During the party discussion, Ozturk said to the Moroccan Labor parliamentarian Ahmed Marcouch, “May Allah punish you!”  Party leader Diederik Samsom said that the situation was eerie.  He added that “the Labor party is a secular party, and from time to time, one can hear curses. However, this type of deep-felt religious curses I have not yet heard.”

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Gouda: Ninety Arrests in Battle over Black Pete

Sinterklaas, celebrating the bishop’s birthday on 5 December, is the Netherland’s most important children’s holiday.  In the town of Gouda, its arrival has led to a battle between those who want his assistants to be Black Petes, and those who say that the concept of Black Pete is racist and should be replaced. Prime Minister Mark Rutte has said that it is very sad that Sinterklaas’ arrival has caused so much unrest.  He called upon the Dutch people to make Sinterklaas a big holiday.  

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Offshore Company pays $240 Million Fine after Corruption Discovered

SBM Offshore is paying a $240 million fine to settle with the prosecution. This has been announced by both the prosecution and the company.  It concerns bribes paid to officials in Angola and Equatorial Guinea between 2007-2011.  Bribes were probably paid in Brazil as well.  There are further questions about possible bribes paid in Malaysia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, and Italy.  The accounting firm of SBM Offshore who approved the annual accounts is KPMG.  Earlier, KPMG was involved in the corruption scandal of the building company, Ballast Nedam.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mayor of London Calls Amsterdam Sleazy

 “Parts of Amsterdam are sleazy”.  This was said by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson (Conservative).  He said so in a meeting in the London neighborhood, Waltham Forest.  He said that the bad environment is due to the tolerant drug policy. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

German Ambassador Intends to Commemorate Waffen SS Dead

This Sunday at the Ijsselsteyn Cemetery, the German ambassador to the Netherlands, Franz Josef Krem, will commemorate the Germans killed in World War Two.  About 32,000 Germans and 6,000 unknown persons are buried there.  According to the experts of the War Victims Organization (Oorlogslachtoffers), 3,000 members of the Waffen SS are also buried there.  Recently, various neo-Nazis demonstrated at Ijsselsteyn, carrying swastika flags and the black banners of the SS.  The Waffen SS was responsible for many murderous crimes which were part of the Holocaust.  Various high-level Dutch authorities have announced that they will participate in the commemoration services.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Eighty Percent of Turkish Youngsters Have No Problem with Muslim Violence against Other Religions

A study carried out by Motivaction (a polling firm) shows that 80% of the Dutch Turkish youngsters are not opposed to the fact that, in the name of jihad, violence is perpetrated against people of other religions.  In addition, 80% do not consider the return of jihadis to the Netherlands from the Middle East to be a problem.  Deputy Prime Minister Asscher (Labor party) said, “We cannot accept that these youngsters turn their backs to society”.  Freedom Party leader, Geert Wilders, said that in the past, when he would mention high figures, people would laugh at him.  He added that “we now know that the reality is worse”.   Liberal party parliamentarian, Malik Azmani, called the outcome of the poll “shocking and unacceptable”. He said that multiculturalism has a negative influence on Dutch society, because its stops the need for integration.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dozens of Ajax Supporters Arrested in Zwolle

In Zwolle, almost 40 soccer fans have been arrested, among which 31 are Ajax Amsterdam fans.  It is not clear what the Ajax fans were doing in Zwolle, as their club was not playing there.  Around the PEC Zwolle stadium, a fight broke out between the two groups of fans, with a variety of weapons, including metal pipes. Stones and glass were thrown as well.

Monday, November 10, 2014

European Council: Netherlands Ignores Basic Rights of Illegal Immigrants

The European Council has decided that Dutch authorities must provide services to illegal immigrants and asylum seekers who are not allowed to stay in the Netherlands.  This judgment was given after the final judgment of the Committee for Social Rights on this issue.  This followed a complaint by the Dutch Protestant church against the Dutch state. According to the Committee, the Netherlands ignores some basic rights of illegal immigrants, such as food, clothing, and housing.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Dutch Jihadis Continue to Leave for Iraq and Syria

Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk (Labor Party) has stated on national television that Dutch jihadis continue to leave the Netherlands for Syria and Iraq.  According to the general intelligence service, AIVD, the number of Dutch jihadis has currently reached 160, rising from 140 at the beginning of September.  The number of deaths has now reached 20.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Hungary Returns Dutch Jihadi to the Netherlands

A 16 year old Dutch jihadi girl has been arrested in Hungary.  The girl is of Moroccan origin and lived in the Dutch town of Tilburg.  She carried false identity papers and the Hungarian terror office, TEK, says that on social media sites she had many contacts who are Islamist extremists.  She had intended to participate in the armed fight in Syria and to carry out acts of terror.  The girl has been handed over to the Dutch authorities.