Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rotterdam: Third Electric Current Breakdown in One Month

On Monday a major electric current breakdown occurred in Rotterdam. It was the third this month. Trams and metro’s did not operate, 25 people had to be freed by firemen from elevators. The provider Stedin claims that each time the reasons were different.

Monday, January 30, 2012

European Commission: Netherlands Breaks Purchasing Rules

The European Commission said that the Netherlands transgresses the EU purchasing rules in the military field. The Commission requested that the Netherlands introduces these rules into legislation, otherwise it will bring the issue before the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Most Dutch Municipalities Suffer from Excrement

More than half of Dutch municipalities report that they suffer from dog excrement. Citizens there regularly complain about these problems. The problems are larger in bigger towns than in small communities. This results from research presented on the First National Symposium on Dog Policies. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, dog excrement is the number one irritation in the Netherlands. The number of dogs in the Netherlands is estimated to be around 1.5 million. At the Symposium, a Professor of Veterinary health from Utrecht University will speak. He claims that dog excrement is not only a nuisance, but can also be lethal due to the worms in it.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Arch Bishop: Roman Catholic Church did not Live up to Norms

The Arch Bishop of Utrecht, Wim Eijk has said to a parliamentary committee that his Church did not live up to its own values. He was heard in view of the Deetman Report, which found that there had been between 10 and 20 thousand victims of sexual abuse in Catholic institutions, of which 1,000 are considered serious cases. The report discussed the ‘culture of silence’ in the Church. The Arch Bishop admitted that the report gave a correct view of the situation and he said that he was ashamed. He added that the Church will have to regain the confidence of the Dutch population.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dutch Police have Increasing Problems with their Pistols

Already in 2009, the Dutch Police should have introduced their new pistols. A police lawyer, Ingrid van den Berge said that the present pistols, Walther P5, are not functioning properly in many ways. Modern bullets place too much pressure on these weapons which have to be repaired, often at high cost. In addition, they can only take 8 cartridges, whereas new weapons should have 15. The police lawyer said that if no decision is taken soon, the safety of police agents will be at risk.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Total Failure of Crisis Communication after Major Fire

When a major fire in the chemical plant of Chemie-Pack broke out in January 2011, the communication system between authorities and residents in its neighborhood totally failed. These results are from a draft report of the Investigation Council for Security. The report mentions as examples of failing services - the non-functioning of telephone information and the crisis website. Data of importance to residents were not officially released. Information provided to the residents was sometimes contradictory. The Council concludes that the communication was severely handicapped as so many authorities were involved.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Netherlands left Ecological Disaster in Curaçao

The government of Curaçao said that the Netherlands has left an ecological and economic disaster on the island. The Shell company, then still owned partly by the Dutch government, left behind a refinery and an asphalt lake against the payment of a symbolic one guilder. This was said in reply to a threat made by competent Dutch Minister Liesbeth Spies. She wanted a faster reply from the Curaçao government as to its vision of the future of the refinery. Spies has said that she would block a financial program for the island if the vision document wasn’t published soon. The Curaçao government said that the Netherlands has no right to rush Curaçao with this matter in view of what it left behind there.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Government Refuses to Apologize for Wrongdoings of its Wartime Predecessor

In a very formal answer to questions posed by the PVV Freedom Party, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that he sees no reason to apologize for the behavior of the Dutch government in exile in London during World War II toward the persecution of Dutch Jews. He said that no new facts have come to the light about the London government in 2000, when the then- government apologized for the wrongdoings of the postwar Dutch government towards the Jewish community. Rutte suggested in his answer that the Jewish community should have asked for the government to apologize – a rather illogical request. (The Netherlands thus remains the Western European country which has done by far the least to officially admit its role in the persecution of Jews, let alone apologize for it.)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Much Extra Money Invested into Education without Results

The Social and Cultural Planning Bureau (SCP) announced that many millions of additional money has been invested in education, care and security. This has in many cases, not led to improvements. The SCP gives as one example education. The scores of tests have not improved over the years.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

TV Program Shows Naked Queen Beatrix

A satirical program on the Dutch Socialist Vara broadcasting station showed a manipulated video of Queen Beatrix and Crown Prince Willem Alexander naked among the Papuas in New Guinea. Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders had criticized the Queen covering her hat with a scarf while visiting the Sheik Zayed mosque on a state visit to Abu Dhabi. The official reaction was that she was respecting local customs. The satirical program thereupon showed what she would do on an imagined state visit to Papua, New Guinea.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Former Parliamentarian: Netherlands – Country without a Vision

Rob Oudkerk, a former Labor Party parliamentarian claims that the Netherlands is a mediocre country which tries to hide that fact behind its hypes and arrogant nothingness. He said that the Netherlands should take an example from Hong Kong, which he had just visited. Oudkerk said that as a result of two Dutch TV presenters who ate a little bit of meat off each other, the Netherlands now has an image in Hong Kong of “a country without norms and visions, cannibalistic, quarreling and always second rate.”

Monday, January 9, 2012

Great Majority of Dutch against Apologizing to Jews

A poll taken by Maurice de Hond found that sixty-seven percent of the Dutch opposes formal apologies by the Dutch government to the Jews for the disinterest of the wartime government in exile in the persecution of the Jews. Of these, half say that they should not be made because it is so late. Only 27% support the apologies. The issue of Dutch wartime misconduct became world news last week after Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom Party called on Prime Minister Mark Rutte (Liberal) to offer apologies. Wilders reacted to similar attitudes of former Deputy Prime Ministers Els Borst (D66 Left Liberals) and Gerrit Zalm (Liberals) in Manfred Gerstenfeld’s book Judging the Netherlands: The Renewed Restitution Process 1997-2000.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Former Dutch Bank Chief: Netherlands will Lose Part of its Loan to Greece

Nout Wellink, the former President of the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) considers it most probable that the Euro countries will have to write off part of their loans to Greece. While Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager keeps saying that the Netherlands will receive all of its money back, Wellink says that this is not realistic. He said that the much publicized contribution of the banking system to the losses of Greece will ultimately amount to very little and that the hole will have to be filled by government money.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Dutch More Pessimistic Than Ever About Their Financial Future

The Dutch have never been so pessimistic about their own financial future before. One third of them expects a deterioration in the coming twelve months. During the global financial crisis at the end of 2008, it was 20%. More than two thirds of the Dutch think that the economy will deteriorate in the coming year. Only 39% of the people are satisfied with the European politics. All this was published by the Social and Planning Bureau (SCP).

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Former Ministers: Dutch War-Time Government Failed the Jews and Should Apologize

Former Deputy Prime Ministers Els Borst (D66) and Gerrit Zalm said that the Dutch government in exile in London failed the Jews under German occupation and that the current Dutch government should apologize to the Jewish community for that. Borst also mentioned that Dutch Queen Wilhelmina was hardly interested in the fate of the Jews. She said that the government in exile saw the Jewish Dutchmen as a special group and not as true Dutchmen. She added, “My intuition is if all Catholics or reformed people had been deported to Germany, the government in London would have instructed the population in the occupied Netherlands about what to do.” The interviews with Borst and Zalm were originally published in Manfred Gerstenfeld’s new book Judging the Netherlands: The Renewed Holocaust Restitution Process, 1997-2000.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Economic Crisis in Red Light District

There is an economic crisis in the Amsterdam Red Light District. Men who visited once a week now only visit once every two months. This was said by Metje Blaak, the spokesperson of the Red Threat, the trade union of prostitutes. Only prostitutes with a specialization such as sado-masochism still earn well. One prostitute told the Dutch TV program NOS that more and more women have to seek part-time work in other areas.http://www.volkskrant.nl/vk/nl/7264/Schuldencrisis/article/detail/3099444/2011/12/30/Crisis-op-de-Wallen-klanten-blijven-thuis.dhtml

Monday, January 2, 2012

Policemen and Others Wounded on New Year’s Eve

In several Dutch towns, policemen were wounded on New Year’s Eve. In Utrecht, 5 policemen were wounded by violence. Four policemen had to be sent to the hospital because someone squirted acid in their faces. Also, one fireman and five ambulance workers were wounded in town. All in all, the fireman had to intervene more than 360 times. In total, 50 people were arrested in the town, which is about equal to last year’s New Year’s eve festivities. In other towns, there were policemen and firemen wounded and many other incidents.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2005-2010: Large Numbers of Mosques Targeted by Violence

During the years of 2005-2010, mosques in the Netherlands were targeted by violence 117 times. There was vandalism recorded 37 times and mosques were sprayed with graffiti 43 times. Pig heads were also placed next to mosques. In the U.S. during that period, 42 such incidents took place. These results were gathered by research done by Ineke van der Valk on behalf of the Euro Mediterraan Centrum voor Migratie en Islamofobie. (EMCEMO). In 99 cases, the perpetrators were not found.