Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Christian Democrats: Data of Problem Youngsters Must Include Ethnicity

The Christian Democrats faction of Parliament has requested that the files of problem youngsters registered in a data bank should include their ethnicity. The Council of State has concluded that this is against the law and must be stopped. The Labor party wants not only caretakers but also the prosecution and the police to have access to this data bank.

Special Help Teams for Problems with Moroccan Youths

Municipalities which suffer from serious problems with Moroccan Dutch youngsters can call for help from a special brigade consisting of policemen and experts from various ministries and other bodies. Similar teams have been set up to deal with the excessive use of alcohol and drug among youngsters in some provinces. Yet another team deals with vandalism.

Never Before So Much Fear of Dismissal

Twenty-six percent of employees in the Netherlands are afraid of losing their jobs. Seven percent think that there are serious chances of being dismissed. These are the findings of research by Randstad Werkmonitor among 1,000 employees. It found that the fear of dismissal has never been so widespread and the hope of finding another job is lower than ever.

Socio-Economic Factors Only Partially Explain Criminality of Non-Western Immigrants

Three scholars – Roel Jennissen, Martine Blom and Annemarije Oosterwaal – have found that the high rate of criminality among non-western immigrants is only partly due to economic factors. In 2004 4.5% of non-western immigrants aged 12-60 were registered as suspect with the police. Even if one corrects this for socio-economic factors, second generation Moroccans still have a criminality rate 3.3 times higher than autochtonous Dutch. For second-generation Dutch of Surinam origin, the figure is 2.2, and for Antilleans of the second generation it is 1.8.www.parool.nl/parool/nl/7/MISDAAD/article/detail/250727/2009/06/28/Criminaliteit-niet-westerse-allochtoon-onderzocht.dhtml

Monday, June 29, 2009

Half of Dutch Muslims Think about Emigration

Due to the increasing popularity of Geert Wilders, 57% of Turkish and Moroccan Muslims feel less comfortable in the Netherlands than they did in the past. Seventy-five percent think that the native Dutch now judge them more negatively than before; 40% say that they are discriminated against more frequently; and 25% say that this happens regularly. These are the findings of a poll by Motivaction on behalf of the “Netwerk” TV program. However, 18% consider some of Wilders’ viewpoints to be positive and 4% think that, if he is in the government, he will be able to solve many problems. All in all, one-third of the Muslims do not see a future in the Netherlands.

Green Left Party: Organize Prostitutes in Amsterdam

Marieke van Doorninck, faction leader of the Green Left Party in the Amsterdam municipality, says that prostitutes should be more involved in the proposed restructuring of the Amsterdam red light district. She suggests that the municipality subsidize an organization of prostitutes.

Majority Against State Paying for Minister’s Glasses

A poll by Maurice de Hond found that 64% of Dutchmen consider it inappropriate that Finance Minister Wouter Bos asked for reimbursement for the cost of replacing the sunglasses he lost at a European Union meeting in Brussels. The only parties with a majority of members in favor of this were the Labor party and the Green Left party.

Major Increase in Robberies

In the first quarter of 2009 the number of robberies increased by 23% over the same period of 2008. On an annual basis this translates to about 2,300. This was announced by the spokesman for the Council of the Chief Police Commissioners. The Council hopes to improve the situation by establishing a task force in which police and business owners will cooperate.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

No Further Prosecution of Hell’s Angels

The Supreme Court has decided that the Hell’s Angels in the town of Harlingen will not be disbanded or forbidden from operating there. Since the prosecution did not succeed in a number of cases brought against the Hell’s Angels, it has decided to freeze all outstanding procedures against any of their clubs.

PVV: No Longer Only Halal Foods in Jails

The Freedom Party (PVV) in Parliament has asked the Minister of Integration Eberhard van der Laan (Labor) if it is true that a number of jails in the Netherlands are serving only halal food. The story became known after an inmate in a jail complained that he was forced to eat halal food.www.trouw.nl/nieuws/nederland/article2800282.ece/PVV_wil_opheldering_over_halalmenu_gevangenis.html

Many Local Public Officials Misuse Expense Accounts

In 80% of Dutch municipalities, mayors and aldermen charge small items to the municipality, although they get expense accounts of hundreds of Euros per month.

Minister of Finance Charges Lost Glasses to Ministry

Minister of Finance Wouter Bos (Labor) lost his sunglasses during a professional trip to Brussels. He has charged the ministry 113 Euro for replacement of the glasses. www.telegraaf.nl/binnenland/4252816/__Bos__Bril_zelf_betalen_goedkoper__.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Christian Democrats: Non-Western Immigrant Gangs to Re-education Camp

Christian Democrat Parliamentarian Madeleine Van Toorenburg has proposed a plan to Minister of Integration Eberhard Van der Laan (Labor) about how to deal with non-western immigrants who are terrorizing neighborhoods. The worst groups of these street terrorists should be sent to a re-education camp for six months. Then peace and quiet would return to the neighborhoods and during this time the neighborhood will be prepared for their return.

No Mortgages Available for Problem Neighborhoods

People who live in the most problematic neighborhoods of the Netherlands cannot get mortgages from banks. These so-called Vogelaar neighborhoods – named after the previous Minister of Integration who was forced to resign last year – were supposed to have been rehabilitated, but this cannot be done if there are no mortgages available.

18,000 Dutch Businesses in Economic Difficulties

A study by the consultancy Deloitte has found that about 18,000 are possibly in financial trouble. For half of them survival depends on additional bank credit in the next half year.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dutch Ministers Quarrel about Gaza

There is major tension in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which houses two ministers and one deputy minister. Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen (Christian Democrats) is currently in Israel but has refused to visit Gaza, which is governed by Hamas, the Palestinian terror organization. His colleague Minister of Development Aid Bert Koenders (Labor) will be visiting Israel and Gaza next week. Verhagen has attacked the extremist anti-Israeli Labor Parliamentarian Martin van Dam, saying that he opposes his positions on the Middle East mainly because of problems within the Labor party. www.elsevier.nl/web/10239468/Nieuws/Politiek/Ministers-in-de-clinch-Verhagen-gaat,-Koenders-komt.htm?rss=true

Rotterdam Will Not be Able to Solve Problems of Safety in Neighborhoods

The Rotterdam Comptroller’s Office has announced that the city will not be able to reduce the number of problem neighborhoods to zero by 2010. The problem of safety in Rotterdam will continue to exist in a significant way.

Belgians Negative Regarding Dutch

Belgians consider the Dutch to be stingy, noisy, pushy, and arrogant. Furthermore, they do not appreciate the traffic jams or the Dutch cuisine. Germans see drug consumption and prejudices as negative characteristics of the Dutch. American, British and French visitors consider the Dutch language as a negative element. Tourists from these five countries are the main visitors to the Netherlands. They identify the country mainly with tulips, cheese, windmills and the Amsterdam canals. These are the findings of the Dutch Bureau of Tourism and Congresses on the image of the Netherlands.

Minister: Muslim Radio Stations Might Lose their Permits

Minister of Education Ronald Plasterk (Labor) has threatened the two Muslim radio stations NMO and NIO that they will lose their permits if they don’t stop quarreling. Almost ten percent of their budget is lost due to the cost of legal and other expenses.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Former Minister Compares Wilders to National Socialists

Former minister Ella Vogelaar (Labor) has warned the Dutch about the rise of the Freedom Party, saying “in the 30s of the last century, people only recognized the dramatic danger of national socialism when it was too late.” She added that politicians must stop treating Wilders as a democratic politician with acceptable opinions. Vogelaar resigned last year under great pressure of party leader Wouter Bos. She now says that she could not have made these remarks about Wilders at that time because Bos opposed them.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wilders: Expel Iranian Ambassador

Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom Party (PVV), is demanding that the minister of foreign affairs expel the Iranian ambassador Ghahramani from the Netherlands. He also wants to recall the Dutch ambassador from Teheran.

Minister of Interior: Journalists Should not Have Access to State Secrets

Minister of the Interior Guusje ter Horst (Labor) has said that journalists must understand that they are not allowed to have access to state secrets. If such information is offered to them, they should refuse it or inform the police. She was reacting to the journalists’ anger about a search at the home of Jolande van der Graaf of the Telegraaf daily. Van der Graaf is suspected of having published state secrets concerning the role of the intelligence service AIVD in the runup to the Iraq war. She also recently published information about the security measures taken for the visit of the Dalai Lama.

Minister of Education Criticizes Misbehavior of Public Media

Minister of Education Ronald Plasterk (Labor) has reacted to the findings of research published in the NRC daily about the misbehavior of public media. The study shows that the public media break the media laws as well as their own behavioral code. One criticism is that directors of media organizations are offered trips abroad by producers whom they give assignments.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Churches Remain Silent about Sex Abusers

The television program “Zembla” is devoting a program to sex abusers in the churches. Dutch churches receive more than 40 complaints annually about sex abuse from victims but the churches try to hush up these matters. It mentions a Catholic priest who was condemned for rape and was not deposed by the Church. There is also mention of a Protestant minister who had sex with psychiatric patients. He was sent to another church but not fired.

Police Evict Squatters of Former Army Barracks

Squatters who occupied the former Queen Wilhelmina barracks in Ossendrecht have now been evicted by the police. There was some violence during the process of eviction.

Opposition Parties: Evict Criminal Foreigners

Opposition parties VVD (Liberals), PVV (Freedom Party) and Parliamentarian Rita Verdonk have asked Deputy Minister of Justice Nebahat Albayrak to deport criminal foreigners. The government Christian Democrats are of the opinion that criminal foreigners should be forced to leave the country only if they are not in possession of a Dutch passport. The parliamentary debate discussed a court decision forbidding deportation of a Moroccan who has been declared “an undesirable foreigner” because the immigration and naturalization service (IND) cannot prove that the data it used are correct.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Forecast: 9.5% Unemployment

The Central Planning Bureau (CPB) has published even more negative forecasts than earlier. Unemployment may increase to 730,000 people in 2010, or 9.5% of the work force. The budget deficit is expected to reach 6.7% of the GDP. The CPB expects the GDP to decrease by 4.75% this year. In March it had forecast a decline of 3.5%.

Most Homeless have Weapons

Most of the homeless in the Netherlands are in the possession of weapons. This includes knives, knuckle dusters and even guns. In particular, homeless people who are also addicts feel safer having a weapon of some kind.

Dutch Toilet Organization Cancels Congress Due to Lack of Interest

The Dutch Toilet Organization which promotes the placement of more public toilets had to cancel a conference because of lack of interest. The conference was to have taken place in the town of Almere. The mayor of the town, former Minister Annemarie Jorritsma was supposed to be one of the speakers, and former chairman of Parliament Frans Weisglas was to preside over the conference.

Complaint against Minister: Ministry Neglects Horses

The “Foundation Against Purposeless Violence to Animals” has submitted a complaint to the police against Ministry of Agriculture Gerda Verburg (Christian Democrat) because horses taken from their owners by the ministry were returned wounded. The foundation says that there have been many complaints about poor care by the ministry of seized animals such as dogs, cats, horses and birds.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Supreme Court: Hate Poster against Former Minister Permitted

The Supreme Court has decided that a poster which was aimed at Rita Verdonk when she was minister of immigrant affairs should be permitted. The poster said “Travel agency Rita, arrests, deportation, cremation, adequate till the bitter end.” The poster was shown on a television program. The prosecution has fought this issue through all the courts because it suggested that Verdonk was intentionally deporting foreigners and causing them to be cremated. The prosecution also said that the poster called up associations with Nazi practices. The supreme court decided that the poster was satirical and did not promote violence.

Dutch Army Shoots Phosphorous Grenades on its own Troops in Afghanistan

Dutch soldiers mistakenly shot phosphorous grenades at friendly troops in Afghanistan. They had intended to shoot lighting bullets to help a night patrol near the town of Tarin Kowt.

Violence against Caregivers Increasingly Extreme

Edward Kudding of the firm Kudding and Partners, which since 1985 has provided self-defense training for people working in psychiatric and social care, says that violence against caregivers has become increasingly extreme. He said this after a 21-year old homeless person stabbed three caregivers in an Amsterdam center for the homeless. One was killed and two were wounded. The Salvation Army says they do not submit a complaint for every case of aggression because there are so many.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Incidents against Policemen More Violent

The violence against policemen has not increased, but the incidents have become more violent. This is the conclusion of a study by the University of Utrecht ordered by the police, the justice department and the municipality of Utrecht. Last year there were 574 cases of violence against the police in the Utrecht region. The number of cases in which policemen were severely wounded increased from 72 in 2007 to 118 in 2008. This includes injuries such as broken noses, torn hamstrings and broken bones. The researchers say that excessive media attention to the issue leads to the public demanding harsher punishment, but this doesn’t solve any problems.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Officials Suffer from Stress

It has been found that one-third of all government officials suffer regularly from stress. More than half of these people suffer at times from lack of sleep due to stress at work. Among other sectors of the population the average percentage of people who suffer often or regularly from stress is 27%.

More and More People Addicted to New Party Drug GHB

The Trimbos Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health and Addiction in the Netherlands, has issued a warning against the use of GHB. This liquid anaesthetic is being used increasingly as a party drug. Hundreds of people are being treated for addiction and the number is growing fast. Use of this substance may lead to loss of consciousness.

Discrimination against Muslims on Internet on the Increase

The monitor for discrimination on the Internet (MDI) has announced that more than half of the 899 complaints it received last year related to discrimination against Muslims, or specifically against Moroccans and Turks. Anti-Semitism also remains a problem. In the past it appeared mostly on the far right; now it is found frequently on normal interactive sites.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Many Complaints about Home Care

According to the television program “EénVandaag” an inquiry among 5,000 people receiving home care revealed that one-third had complained with the organization about the bureaucratic jungle lacking any human touch. Complaints include caregivers who smoke while with the client, steal or give wrong medications. Furthermore, they falsely claim to have given certain types of care.www.parool.nl/parool/nl/224/BINNENLAND/article/detail/248020/2009/06/13/Veel-klachten-over-thuiszorg.dhtml

Major Increase in Maltreatment of Elderly

The number of complaints about the maltreatment of the elderly increased by 81% in 2008 to 662 cases. These data come from various sources. Movisie, a consultancy center, said that the perpetrators are often people who are close to the elderly person, such as a spouse, children, neighbors or caregivers. www.trouw.nl/nieuws/nederland/article2785105.ece/Forse_toename_meldingen_ouderenmishandeling.html

Situation of Children in Asylum Seekers Center Breaks International Law

Dutch centers for asylum seekers are breaking international law and are a serious danger for the development of the children growing up there. A report with 65 recommendations for improvement was presented to Deputy Minister Nebahat Albayrak (Labor). Six to eight thousand children live with their parents in such centers. The Netherlands doesn’t meet international standards regarding living conditions, education, health care, security and recreation are concerned.

Labor Party Candidate for European Elections was Sixth Choice

Minister of Finance and Labor Party leader Wouter Bos has said that the five preferred candidates to lead the party in the European Union elections had all refused to appear on the list. Bos said that he had not voted in these elections for the leading candidate Thijs Berman but for No. 5 on the list René Cuperus, who is a Euro-skeptic. Forty percent of the Labor Party voters opposed the European constitution and Bos felt that their voice should be heard.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Record Number of Immigrants to the Netherlands

In 2008 a record 140,000 immigrants entered the Netherlands. One explanation for this is the number of “import brides” which increased by 30% to over 15,000. Parliamentarian Paul de Krom of the opposition Liberal Party (VVD) said that the Netherlands is regressing to the 1990s and the government hasn’t learned anything from the past.www.elsevier.nl/web/10236710/Nieuws/Nederland/Aantal-importbruiden-enorm-toegenomen.htm?rss=true

Minister will Come to Gouda for Next Incident with Moroccans

Eberhard van der Laan, Minister of Housing, Neighborhoods and Integration (Labor) has announced that the next time there is an incident caused by Moroccans in the problem town of Gouda, he will visit the town. He plans to interview the victims and will meet with the mayor to discuss how the police function there. Van Der Laan made this announcement in reaction to questions by the Socialist Party Parliamentarian Roemer.

Major Waste of Money in Child Care

A commission called “Care for Youth”, headed by CNV trade union chairman René Paas, has concluded that there is enough money available for child care, but that much of it is wasted due to bureaucracy. The report says that children and families are victims of the poorly functioning child care organizations. The commission says that determining what should be done often costs more than the treatment proposed.

Gatherings Prohibited in Another Utrecht Neighborhood

In yet another neighborhood of Utrecht – Zullen-Oost – the town’s mayor has issued a prohibition on gathering. Twenty-seven specific youngsters are no longer allowed to gather in groups on the street. The next step will be to prohibit certain youngsters from entering particular streets. The mayor said that he had to take these steps because of the fears of residents of the neighborhood.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Minister: Labor Party Fails due to Elitist Attitudes

Ronald Plasterk, Minister of Education (Labor), claims that the party has lost contact with the lower class neighborhoods because its leadership is made up of highly educated people. “We cannot keep saying that the multi-cultural society is a blessing when people can no longer understand their neighbors and see bags of garbage being thrown from windows.” He admitted that the party had lost many people to the right-wing Freedom Party. He also criticized former Minister Herfkens of his party because she had objected to living in an apartment with no view when she worked for the United Nations in New York. He added “Such people are far removed from our voters.”

Liberals and Freedom Party: Do Not Recruit Policemen in Mosques

The Liberal faction in the Amsterdam municipality and the PVV in Parliament have objected to the police holding a recruitment campaign in the Al Oumma mosque in the Slotervaart neighborhood of Amsterdam. The opposition considers this as being against the separation of religion and state. The PVV says that it amounts to discrimination of native Dutch and the Islamization of the police. www.parool.nl/parool/nl/4/AMSTERDAM/article/detail/247228/2009/06/09/Vragen-over-politie-in-moskee.dhtml

Liberal Parliamentarian Again Needs Bodyguards

Liberal Parliamentarian Fred Teeven is being accompanied by two bodyguards due to having been threatened again. He is a former public prosecutor. The last time he required protection was at the beginning of this year. Teeven has refused to comment on the nature of the threats.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thirty-Seven Percent of all Psychiatric Patients Come from Amsterdam

Of all those people in the Netherlands who suffer from psychiatric problems, 37% come from Amsterdam. This was discovered by Jaap Peen, a researcher at the Amsterdam Institute for Mental Health (GGZ) Arkin). Peen presented his doctoral thesis this week at the Amsterdam Free University. He mentioned that such problems may derive from the physical circumstances of urbanization such as noise, poor housing and pollution. Safety and social cohesion may play a role.

Rotterdam Mayor: Antillean and Moroccan Criminals have Low IQ

The mayor of Rotterdam Ahmed Aboutaleb (Labor) says he is shocked by the fact that Moroccan and Antillean youngsters who are arrested, have been found to have a very low IQ. “It is so low,” he said, “that one can not do very much with them.” In addition one often finds a serious type of schizophrenia among the Moroccans.