Sunday, September 28, 2008

Unit in Afghanistan Refuses Orders

A unit of 24 Dutch Infantry Dutch infantry soldiers has been put on inactive duty because they have refused orders. According to a spokesman of the commander of the Dutch army in Afghanistan, the soldiers refused to protect a patrol. Other Dutch soldiers in Afghanistan have complained about the quality of their equipment.

Minister of Environment Apologizes to Parliament

Minister of Environment Cramer (Labor) has apologized to Parliament for refusing to answer questions about green energy. She was asked about the authenticity of a newspaper article in the Telegraaf which said that buyers of green energy are being cheated, as it is being imported from elsewhere and does not contribute to the Dutch environment.

Ministers: Behavior of Moroccan Dutch Youngsters Can No Longer be Tolerated

Guusje ter Horst, Minister of the Interior (Labor) and Ernst Hirsch Ballin, Minister of Justice (Christian Democrats) have said that Moroccan Dutch youngsters are causing major problems in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, as well as in smaller towns such as Ede, Nijmegen and Gouda. This group is over-represented in repeat criminality, school dropouts and unemployment. They provided figures for this and also said that the Moroccan community in the Netherlands has a responsibility to deal with this problem.

Mosque Warns of Muslim Youngsters with Extremist Ideas

The radical As' Soenah mosque in The Hague has informed the Dutch Intelligence Service AIVD, that they are concerned about a group of 15-20 Muslim youngsters who presented extreme positions in mosques and have now disappeared. This was confirmed by Municipal Councilor Abdoe Khoulani.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Minister of Defense Apologizes

Eimert van Middelkoop, the Minister of Defense, has expressed regrets about his statements in the Vrij Nederland weekly that he was happy that he didn’t serve in the army because he had received deferrals until he was over age. Van Middelkoop said that, when he went for the initial examinations, he felt that the army was not for him because he had problems with authority. Wim van den Burg, chairman of the military trade union AFMP says that “it is important that the minister understands that his statements have made the impression that he has no affinity for the army.” He added that his union thinks that Van Middelkoop is not a strong minister and that it will continue to watch him closely.

Freedom Party: Publish Secret Report on Turkish Islamic Movement

Hero Brinkman of the Freedom Party (PVV) has requested that the government publish a secret report of the Dutch police on the Turkish Islamic movement Milli Görüs in the Netherlands. According to Brinkman, the report shows that the movement has links with terrorist organizations. The police is investigating how the report was leaked to the Dutch daily Telegraaf which quoted from it earlier this month.

Rat Plague in Province of Limburg

After it became known earlier that the Twente area has a major problem with black rats, the plague has now expanded into the province of Limburg as well. The rats are resistant to the only permitted poison. The regional radio L1 in Limburg reported that the number of rats is increasing in an explosive way.

Area Restrictions on 56 Youngsters in Nijmegen

Thom de Graaf ,the mayor of Nijmegen, will send letters to 56 youngsters informing them that they are no longer allowed to be in parts of the Dukenburg neighborhood between 6 o’clock in the evening and 8 o’clock in the morning. This measure was taken after on two successive evenings there was arson in the former youth center in the area. The mayor said that such an approach for Moroccan youngsters is necessary in order to limit future problems in the town. Such measures had been taken earlier against Antillean youth. The Green Left Party has criticized the mayor for specifically mentioning Moroccans as the major culprits in the neighborhood.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Major Claim against State Lottery

The foundation is suing the State Lottery, claiming that its publicity is misleading. The foundation, which represents 19,000 purchasers of lottery tickets, claims that the lottery has illegally allowed unsold tickets to participate in the lottery. The foundation says that by doing this, ticket purchasers have been damaged for at least a half billion Euro.

Are Purchasers of “Green Energy” being Cheated?

Almost the entire Parliament has criticized the Minister of the Environment Jacqueline Cramer (Labor) because she refused to reply to questions about cheating with “green energy”. Parliamentarian Jos Hessels (Christian Democrats) initiated the debate, after the daily Telegraaf claimed that about 2.5 million Dutch families who buy so-called “green energy” are being cheated about the source. The Europarliamentarian Dorette Corbey (Labor) says that certificates given for “green energy” use have no value.

Emergency Parliamentarian Debate Planned on Unrest in Gouda

The Freedom Party (PVV) has called for an emergency Parliamentary debate regarding the problematic neighborhood Oosterwei in Gouda. The PVV wants to extend the debate to include the issue of general Moroccan violence in the Netherlands. The call for the emergency debate has acquired the necessary quorum as the Liberal Party supports it.,1

Many Psychiatric Clinics Giving Poor Service

Marja Hasert of Ypsilon, the organization which takes care of the interests of psychiatric patients, says that in many psychiatric institutions in the Netherlands care of the patients is insufficient and there is also too few personnel. She also says that frequently patients are put in isolation wards for lengthy periods without any specialists checking if they need to remain there. In addition, she said that protocols differ greatly in various clinics. This statement was made in reaction to the death of a patient in an isolation ward in an Amsterdam clinic, which has since been closed.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bus Drivers Threatened Regularly in Zaandam

Bus drivers in the town of Zaandam are regularly threatened or spat at by youngsters. This was announced by the trade union FMV Bondgenoten. However, in a strike action demanding better security on the buses, only 10 out of 51 buses stopped service.

Amsterdam Mayor: Change Law to Prevent Bigamists getting Passports

Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen said that the law should be changed so that men who have married more than one woman will no longer be allowed to get Dutch citizenship. He and the mayors of Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht will ask the minister of justice to enact a change of law to this effect. Amsterdam Municipal Councilor Robert Flos of the Liberal Party (VVD) says that all polygamic marriages must be declared null and void.

Psychiatric Institute Closed due to Negligence

The Social Psychiatric Service Center (SPDC) in Amsterdam East will be closed temporarily as the staff is overburdened with work and the facilities are neglected. An independent investigation of the clinic is underway. This was triggered by the death of a patient in an isolation ward who choked on a piece of bread.

Coalition Parties: Aggressors Should not be Allowed to Use Public Transport

The two major coalition parties, Christian Democrats and Labor, have proposed that anyone who seriously misbehaves on public transport will immediately be forbidden to travel by train, tram or bus. Labor wants to take this even further and says such people should not be allowed to receive Social Security allowances. Anyone who attacks a doctor or nurse should lose the right to medical care.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Prime Minister Supports Registering Ethnicity of Criminals

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende (Christian Democrat) supports the idea of registering the ethnic backgrounds of criminals. This idea was launched by Guusje ter Horst, the Minister of the Interior (Labor). During the general debate in Parliament Balkenende said that the country needs honesty. He added “There was a time when it was politically correct to speak about ‘youngsters’ in general when, in truth it referred to Moroccan youngsters. Now the issue is to call things by their name.

Wilders: Expel Moroccan Ambassador

Geert Wilders, the leader of the Freedom Party (PVV), has said that the Moroccan ambassador should be expelled in view of the recruitment of a policeman of Moroccan origin by the Moroccan intelligence service. Wilders added that as long as Morocco doesn’t apologize for this, the ambassador is not welcome in the Netherlands. He added that Morocco must also promise that this will never happen again. Two Moroccan diplomats left the Netherlands a few days ago.

A Hundred Twenty-Five Rioters Attack Police

After a music festival on Saturday night in Capelle aan den IJssel, 125 rioters attacked the police. Three policemen were wounded; one was bitten by a police dog. Seven minors who had thrown beer bottles and stones at the police were arrested. It took two and a half hours before the situation was brought under control.

Two-thirds of Windmill Projects are Blocked by Municipalities

Two-thirds of the projects for windmill energy parks are blocked in the decision-making process in municipalities. This was published by the ministry of environment. In a radio interview an alderman of the township of Duiven said that he and his family have been threatened for months with death because he supports the erection of four windmills near the township. Aerial photos of his home have been put on the Internet.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Morocco Recalls Two Diplomats after Spying Scandal

After the Dutch ministry of foreign affairs complained to the Moroccan government about a Dutch policeman being approached by the Moroccan intelligence service, Morocco has recalled two diplomats from the Netherlands. The Dutch parliament will hold an emergency debate now that it has become known that other Dutch citizens of Moroccan origin have been approached by the Moroccan intelligence service to try to get information from,1

Big Cities Come Out against Polygamy

The four big cities in the Netherlands have sent a letter to Ernst Hirsch Ballin, Minister of Justice (Christian Democrats) asking him to stop allowing people who are married to more than one wife to get Dutch citizenship. In Amsterdam 173 people with two wives are registered, of whom 31 also have Dutch nationality.

Hospital Crisis in Dutch Province

The operating rooms in two hospitals in Lelystad and Emmeloord have been shut down after the health inspectorate announced that the risk of infection in these hospitals is too great. (The air filtering system in the hospitals is insufficient for proper surgery. These problems had been known to the management but were ignored for months.) The mayor of Lelystad has asked to bring a military emergency hospital to the town.

Youngsters in Gouda Attack TV Journalists

A TV camera team working in the Gouda neighborhood of Oosterwei was attacked by local youngsters. Many journalists came to the neighborhood after the local bus company discontinued service to it due to the attacks on its drivers. In order to prevent further escalation of the problem the mayor of Gouda addressed a group of Moroccan parents and afterwards the youngsters. A few days earlier the mayor had tried to play down the problems.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Confidence in Government at Rock Bottom

A variety of panels and opinion polls have expressed serious negative views on the current government. A panel of the Eén Vandaag program gave the cabinet a rating of 4.9 out of 10. Confidence in the government has not been so low since December 2005.

74,000 Households in Amsterdam Living in Poverty

Poverty-stricken residents of Amsterdam are having increased difficulties in breaking out of this situation. Seventy-six percent of the 74,000 households which lived in poverty in 2007 have been in this situation for at least three years. According to Alderman Freek Ossel, problems resulting from poverty are worse among youngsters and non-Western immigrants.

Alleged Moroccan Spy Hired by Rotterdam Airport

The Rotterdam airport has hired the former policeman who was fired from the police force because the Dutch intelligence had found that he worked as a spy for the Moroccan secret service. The airport says that he has no access to the planes.

Verdonk: Cabinet Lies about General Amnesty for Asylum Seekers

Parliamentarian and former minister Rita Verdonk (elected on Liberal list but now Independent) claims that the government has lied about the costs of the Dutch society of the general amnesty for asylum seekers. The cabinet had estimated the cost at 450 million Euro. Verdonk says that including social benefits, the cost will be 6 billion Euro. She pointed out that this money should have been better used for social care, safety and salary increases for policemen and teachers.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Minister Wants to Register Ethnicity of Criminals

Guusje ter Horst, Minister of the Interior (Labor), announced in an interview that the police should register the ethnic background of criminals. She said that it this should not be seen as a negative step. She considers registration as a neutral tool to target criminal groups. She claims it can also help in the battle against discrimination.

Wilders: Send Army to Gouda

Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom Party (PVV), wants to send the Dutch army into the Gouda neighborhood where bus drivers are being spat at, threatened and sometimes robbed. Wilders said that in the worst scenario he would bring Dutch troops back from Afghanistan to deal with the situation in Gouda. He said “It cannot be that whilc we are making such a big effort to make Afghanistan safer, the Netherlands is becoming less safe.”

Policeman Dismissed Due to Spying for Morocco

The TV program NOVA has reported that a police agent in Rotterdam has been dismissed after 19 years of service. The Dutch intelligence AIVD informed the police that the man had spied for the intelligence services of Morocco.

Liberals: Halve Help to Third World

Arend Jan Boekestijn, Liberal Parliamentarian of the VVD Party claims that, if the Minister of Development Cooperation were more efficient, the country could save a billion Euro by reducing aid to the Third World. The percentage of the national income spent on development cooperation could thus be reduced from the present 0.8% to 0.4%. Boekestijn said that he wants to eliminate the aid dependence of Third World countries and the support to corrupt governments.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bus Company Refuses to Serve Gouda Neighborhood

The Oosterwei neighborhood in Gouda presently has no city bus services. The bus company Connexxion decided last Saturday to discontinue services as its drivers are no longer willing to deal with the aggression of local youngsters. Drivers have been spat at and threatened, and buses have been damaged.

Half a Million Planned Homes Risk Flooding

About half a million planned homes would be in danger of flooding if dikes were to break. This is the finding of a rapid stock taking by the Dutch Institute for Urban Planning and Housing (NIROV). If the dikes break, water could rise up to seven meters. NIROV says that 40% of all new planned housing is in areas which are at high risk for flooding. It has expressed its concern that, during the planning stage, no thought is given to the protection of these homes.

Police Cannot Block Child Pornography

Ernst Hirsch Ballin, Minister of Justice (Christian Democrats), says that research shows that the police are not authorized to block web sites which carry child pornography. The minister said that the agreements the police has made with some providers to do so has no legal validity.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Minister Must Apologize Personally to African Dutchman

The Ombudsman has found that the behavior of four Dutch military police toward an African Dutchman at Amsterdam’s airport was so repetitively discriminatory, intimidating and abusive, that Minister of Defense Middelkoop (Christian Union) must apologize to him personally.

Moroccan Organization: Amsterdam Mayor Stigmatizing Moroccans

The Association of Moroccans in the Netherlands (SMN) has declared that Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen is stigmatizing Moroccans. Cohen said that many of the people who threaten ambulance workers are Moroccan Dutchmen. Cohen made this statement after five Moroccans in Amsterdam West threatened an ambulance team which was trying to treat a 15-year old who had been severely wounded in a fight. As a result all ambulance workers connected with the organization concerned went on strike for four hours. SMN claims that violence against caregivers occurs also elsewhere in the Netherlands where Moroccans are not always the perpetrators.

Up to Three Days Detention for Violence over Weekend

People in the town of Tilburg who are arrested for violence over the weekend will be held in custody until Monday morning. The town thus follows the policy of the town of Amersfoort where it has led to a reduction in weekend violence. Until now people were held in jail for only one day. On Monday morning they are told whether they will be sentenced to community service or will have to pay a fine. The national ombudsman has announced that he will investigate whether the police are breaking the law with this policy. His spokesman said that it is unacceptable that for every minor infraction one should have to spend the entire weekend in jail.

Amsterdam Municipality Overzealous in Closing Brothels

The policy of the Amsterdam municipality to reduce window prostitution in the red light district of the city has gone too far, according to the Green Left Party which is part of the municipal coalition, together with the Labor Party. The center D66 Party and the Liberal Party (VVD) have also criticized the project. Municipal Councilor Marijn Ornstein said that the agreement was that window prostitution should be reduced in order to fight criminality and make the sex sector manageable. It now seems that reduction of prostitution has become a target in itself. She said that it is not clear that the Liberals agree with this. in Closing Down Brothels

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Indonesian Survivors Accuse Dutch Government of Murdering their Families

Ten survivors of the Indonesian village Rawagede are suing the Netherlands for the murder of their families in the colonial war in 1947. On 9 December of that year Dutch troops attacked the village, separated men from women and executed most of the men. The Dutch government admitted killing 150 people, but a Dutch foundation claims that 431 people were murdered. The UN has called the murder intentional and merciless. The Dutch government has never apologized for the murder, although in 2005 then Foreign Minister Ben Bot expressed regrets. This is the first time Indonesians have brought such a claim against the Netherlands.

Dutch Antilles Parliament Calls Dutch Measure Racist and Discriminating

The Dutch Antilles Parliament has accepted a motion against the Dutch government plan to establish a data bank of Antillean and Aruban
youngsters who create problems in the Netherlands. The Parliament says that making ethnic differences between various Dutch citizens is racist, discriminatory and stigmatizing.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Srebrenica Survivors will Appeal against Dutch Court

A number of survivors of Srebrenica plan to appeal the decision of a Dutch court which has declared that the Dutch state is not responsible for the death of local employees during the Srebrenica genocide. The court decided that the UN is responsible, but it is immune to prosecution. The survivors claim that after the fall of Srebrenica to the Bosnian Serbs, the Dutch did nothing to ensure the safety of their local employees and their families while, at the same time, they were assisting in the deportation of Muslims (who were later murdered by the Bosnian Serbs).

Asylum Seekers up 43 %

The number of people seeking asylum in The Netherlands increased by 43% during the first half of 2008. In the rest of the EU it declined by 3%. The reason is probably that the Dutch Deputy Minister of Justice Albayrak (Labor) follows a policy of not investigating certain categories of asylum seekers. This policy has been criticized by two of the coalition parties – Labor and the Christian Democrats.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Violence at Demonstration of Right Wing Extremists

Ten people were arrested during a demonstration of the extreme right-wing movement Nederlandse Volksunie in the center of the provincial capital Zwolle. One hundred people participated in the demonstration. A fight broke out between left and right wing demonstrators who attacked each other with stones and skateboards.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Minister Criticizes Greenpeace

Gerda Verburg, Dutch Minister of Agriculture will consult with her German counterpart in order to avoid the repetition of actions by Greenpeace against fishermen. The environmental activists threw heavy stones into the North Sea to protect a nature reserve from fishermen. She said that this action endangers both the livelihood and the safety of the fishermen.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Opposition Parties: Minister Should Pay for Investigation

The opposition Liberal (VVD) and Freedom (PVV) Parties say that Minister Cramer should have to cover the costs of the investigation she has ordered into her alleged support for the radical paper Bluf in 1986. At that time the paper published documents concerning nuclear electricity plants which had been stolen from the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Green Action Group Occupies Forest

The Green Action Group Groenfront! has threatened to block AWACS planes from the NATO base in Geilenkirchen in Germany from flying over Dutch territory. In the meantime the group has occupied a forest close to the Dutch border which is also close to the runway of the aircraft base. Activists have built huts in the treetops in order to prevent the Dutch Ministry of Defense from cutting down trees which are close to the runway.,1