Thursday, March 31, 2016

Manpower lacking in case of disaster

A report from the Health Service GGD shows that at most, several dozen people would be available to prepare the Netherlands for catastrophes and crises affecting national health.  This may relate to contagious diseases such as Ebola or Zika.  GGD Chairman Tonny Van de Vondervoort said that the same is true as far psychiatric help is concerned.  Minister Schippers (Public Health) admits the vulnerabilities in the GGD, and will ask the health inspectorate to look into it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Netherlands negligent with Information received about Suicide Bomber

The Netherlands has been negligent in various ways about Ibrahim El Bakraoui, who blew himself up in Brussels last week. For instance despite the fact that Turkey had expelled Bakraoui as a radical and sent him to Amsterdam Schiphol airport, the Netherlands did not put him on a search list. Prime Minister Rutte has admitted that the exchange of information on radicals between European countries is insufficient

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Mayor of The Hague: Police have no time to deal with burglaries

Mayor Jozias van Artsen of The Hague has said that the police have no time to deal with burglaries and many other matters.  Issues such as refugees, foreigners and terror take up most of their time.  He said that the national police require another 600 million Euro, which partly has to be invested in manpower, technology and IT.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Three Quarters of Dutch: Terrorism in Europe Unavoidable

An opinion poll by Maurice de Hond has found that three quarters of the Dutch population think that terror attacks in Europe cannot be prevented whatever is done. After the Paris terror attacks the figure was 56%. Sixty five percent are in favor of border controls as was the case before the Schengen agreement.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Breda: Mayor has to apologize for police Stupidity after Brussels Attacks

A teacher in Breda who had heard that pupils in Belgium were rejoicing after the deadly terror attacks sent a tweet asking how one reacts if in the classroom pupils rejoice in such a case. Three police agents came to his home, saying that they came on behalf of the mayor and warned him not to do this again. He had to sign a declaration. The mayor of Breda later apologized to the teacher and said that it was a stupid action of the police.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Huge Tailbacks on Roads to Netherlands

There were tailbacks of tens of kilometers on the Belgian-Dutch border as the military police checked vehicles entering the Netherlands after the terror attacks in Brussels. The Dutch police says these border controls will be applied as long as necessary.

Friday, March 25, 2016

PVV: Limit Personnel from Islamic Countries at Airports

PVV parliamentarian Dion Graus has said that Islamic country nationals should not be admitted into secured areas and nerve centers of Dutch airports.  He referred to warnings from Belgian intelligence services which seemed to indicate that a number of current or former employees of Brussels airport are Jihad fighters or supporters.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Turkey sent Belgian airport suspect to the Netherlands

Koen Geens, the Belgian Minister of Justice, has said that Ibrahim El Bakraoui was sent back to the Netherlands by Turkey in 2015 at his own request.  He confirmed an earlier statement about this made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.  El Bakraoui is one of the terror suspects who blew himself up a few days ago at Brussels airport.  Geens said that this was not an extradition, but rather a repatriation.  The Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice has announced that it will check whether this information is true.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Master Terrorist Visited the Netherlands a Number of Times

Master terrorist Salah Abdeslam, responsible for the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris visited the Netherlands on several occasions.  This was reported by the French Public Prosecutor François Molins.  Abdeslam was  arrested last week in Brussels, and France has asked for his extradition.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dutch Railway Station evacuated because of Terror Threat

The railway station of Hoofddorp near Amsterdam has been evacuated because of a terror threat. The military police, together with police dogs, is going through a stationary international train from Brussels.  In addition, part of Amsterdam Central Station is closed, and the same is true at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Wilders’ lawyer: my court plea notes have been hacked

Lawyer Geert-Jan Knoops said that he was contacted by the AD daily.  An AD journalist read out part of the plea notes he had prepared for the lawsuit against Wilders, which began last Friday.  He said that during his 30 years of practice this had never happened before.  He requested from the President of the Court that an investigation should be ordered, to be carried out by an independent IT expert or by the National Detective Service.  Knoops wondered how he would communicate with Wilders in the future, if he could not do so via email.  Wilders is being tried for allegations that he insulted a group and incited to hatred and discrimination in his statement in favor of less Moroccans in the Netherlands.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Dutch Turkish Party against Obligatory Integration

The new Dutch Turkish Party, Denk, has stated that it doesn’t think that newcomers to the Netherlands should have to integrate.  They also do not want to condemn the limitation of freedom of the press in Turkey.  The party is led by two current parliamentarians, Tunahan Kuzu and Selçuk Öztürk.  Both were elected on the Labor party list, but split off from it.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Seven Million Dutch Citizens Risk Reduction in Pensions

Seven million employees and pensioners might be hit with a decline in pensions in 2017.  The financial situation of the big Dutch pension funds is such that this may happen.  Their level has declined to their position during the major world credit crisis.  The only major fund which is not yet facing these problems is the BPF building fund.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Amsterdam is the Drugs Capital of Europe

A study by the European Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) examining the water sewage of over 50 towns in Europe has found that Amsterdam is the drugs capital of Europe. Amsterdam has about three times more cannabis in its sewage than the second in line, Barcelona. With regard to MDMA, the active ingredient in Ecstasy, Amsterdam’s has a two to one lead over the no. 2, another Dutch city Utrecht.  In cocaine, Amsterdam is second in prominence, just behind London.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dutch Soccer Fans Humiliate Female Beggars in Madrid

Supporters of the major Dutch soccer club PSV Eindhoven who were in Madrid for the game against Atletico Madrid caused a scandal when they were filmed in town while throwing coins at female beggars and telling them to get down on their hands and knees to pick up the money.  The footage also showed fans engaging in anti-immigrant chants and burning banknotes.  Toon Gerbrands, director of PSV, described the fans' behavior as “scandalous” and said that if they can be identified, the club will consider banning them. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Amsterdam Mayor: Punish Street Intimidation

Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan (Labor) wants to investigate the possibility of making street intimidation punishable.   This would concern issues such as spitting, hissing or cursing.  One in three Amsterdam women have apparently been intimidated by unknown men.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Excessive Maintenance Costs for Queen Mother’s Yacht

Confidential documents have revealed that maintenance costs for the Queen Mother’s sailing yacht De Groene Draeck came to 1.5 million euro from 2004-2015, enough to buy two brand new yachts.  Since 2012, the actual maintenance costs were twice the amount budgeted.  Experts said that the maintenance done by the Dutch Navy wharf has been very inefficient.  The yacht is used for only about 100 hours each year.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Minister visits Mosques which have received Threats

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Integration Lodewijk Asscher will visit mosques after a number of them have received threats. He wants to identify with them and investigate how the Government can help them. About twenty mosques have announced that they received threats, including swastikas and for instance the text: “Islam is a false and satanic religion.”

Friday, March 11, 2016

Pensions may have to be reduced

In recent months the financial position of Dutch pension funds has deteriorated as a result of the low interest rates. Various pension funds have announced that they will have to reduce pensions if the situation does not improve. The trade union FNV has called upon the Government and the Central Bank to find a solution to protect pensions.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Head found belonging to Criminal

Yesterday morning, a head was found in front of a hookah club, the Shisha Lounge. The head belonged to Nabil Amzieb,  A day before, his decapitated body had been found in a burnt out car.  Such killings are unusual in the Netherlands.  The Shisha Lounge has frequently featured in the bloody war between elements of the Amsterdam criminal underworld.  The murdered man was to be a witness in the case of Benaouf A., suspected of involvement in the shooting of Najeb Bouhbouh in Antwerp.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Call on Train Travelers to Photograph Overfull Trains

The ConsumentenClaim organization has called upon train travelers to photograph overfull trains.  In this way it will be able to collect evidence for a possible court case against Dutch Railways (NS).  The organization says that if one makes a series of pictures, one can prove that the problem is not sporadic, rather structural.  In the meantime ConsumentenClaim’s facebook page has been flooded with pictures of overfull trains.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

40% Increase in Emigration from the Netherlands

A study by EmigratieBeurs has found that about 148,000 people emigrate from the Netherlands every year, 41% more than ten years ago.  Tom Bey, director of EmigratieBeurs, says that people emigrate for two intrinsic reasons.  They are seeking a better quality of life, or there are external factors which push them to leave.  He says that the Netherlands has become less nuanced and one finds more politeness abroad.  The negative mentality of the Dutch is cited as a reason for 23% of emigration.  24% give a desire for more quiet and space as their reason for leaving, 13% say that the migrant crisis is making them want to leave.  Bey says that in the Netherlands one can say whatever one thinks.  Many people are not happy with that.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Threatened Members Of Municipality Rarely Go To Police

Potential asylum centers have become a central factor in the increase of intimidation of municipal council members. In September 2015, 13% of municipal council members were threatened.  At present the figure stands at about 26%.  However only one in five complains to the police.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Huge claim by travelers against Dutch Railways (NS)

The ConsumentenClaim organization wants to bring a collective lawsuit against the Dutch railways (NS) on behalf of 9,500 travelers, for inconveniences suffered by passengers due to overfull trains.  The amount demanded is 5.7 million Euro.  Stef Smit, director of ConsumentenClaim, says that on average these travelers have suffered from inconveniences in the value of almost 600 Euro.  He claims that the NS should reimburse these travelers at least half of their ticket expenses.  NS denies the claim because it says that travelers did not buy guaranteed seats. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Seven percent of police personnel on sick leave

Sick leave among the police is exceptionally high.  In 2015, on average, seven percent of police personnel were sick at home, as against less than four percent for other sectors of the population.  Those sick are both police staffers and administrative personnel.  On average, 4,500-4,600 people are out on sick leave every day.  The Association of Police Employees has asked the new head of the national police force, Erik Akerboom, to undertake an independent investigation of the problem.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Chief Prosecutor takes on extreme violence in Rotterdam

Marc van Nimwegen, Chief Prosecutor of Justice, has ordered a major investigation into the origins of the explosion of violence in Rotterdam.  He says that one has to deal with the supply of weapons.  He pointed out that it is frighteningly easy to acquire weapons and use them.  Rotterdam has been the scene of many shooting incidents, most of which are drug-related.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

600,000 Dutch citizens are long-term poor

Long-term poverty is a much bigger problem than usually thought.  A new report commissioned by the Social and Cultural Planning Bureau (SCP) has found that almost 600,000 Dutch citizens have been living below the poverty line for three years or more, almost twice as many as previously found in earlier studies.  It turns out that about half of those living below the poverty line in the Netherlands may be defined as belonging to the long-term poor.  In 2013 the number of poor in the Netherlands was 1.25 million. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Deputy Minister: Thirty suspected war criminals entered the Netherlands in 2015

Deputy Minister Klaas Dijkhoff has written to parliament that at least thirty asylum seekers who entered the Netherlands in 2015 are suspected of war crimes. Ten of these arrived from Syria, the others from Eritrea, Nigeria, Sudan and Georgia.  Dijkhoff says that about the same number arrived in 2014.  Such asylum seekers have no right to asylum status. However, they also cannot be expelled as that transgresses international treaties. They cannot be jailed if there is not enough proof to prosecute them.  Most war crime suspects currently in the Netherlands are Afghans.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

ISIS Executes Eight Dutch Jihadis

Last Friday, eight Dutch Jihadis were executed by ISIS in the Syrian town of Ma’dan.  This was reported by the underground RBSS network.  They apparently were murdered after a conflict with the ISIS internal security service.  Furthermore, according to the Dutch Arabist Jan Jaap de Ruiter, an entire Dutch ISIS brigade of 75 people has been imprisoned because of this conflict.  They are being held in prisons in Raqqa and Ma’dan.