Dutch news in brief, 1 June 2005

1st June 2005, Comments 0 comments

Brussels advises scrapping mortgage relief

Brussels advises scrapping mortgage relief

The European Commission (EC) believes the Netherlands must give serious consideration to scrapping mortgage tax relief to help keep the country’s budget deficit under control, it was reported on Wednesday. The idea of scrapping mortgage tax relief has been floated in the Netherlands before, but no action has been taken as such a move would be considered political dynamite. The EC stance is only advisory at this stage and was included in its 'Public Finances' report for 2005. The EC does not have the power to order The Hague to discontinue the generous tax breaks enjoyed by most homeowners in the Netherlands.

Third Chechen sought over murder

A US terrorism investigator claims a third Chechen is being sought in connection with the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh, 'Radio Netherlands' reported. It was revealed last week that two Chechens have been arrested, one in France and one in Schiedam, in the Netherlands. Dutch justice authorities and the security service AIVD have refused to comment on the findings of the US investigator, Fred Burton, of security company Stratfor.

Rapid growth in Dutch jobless rate 

The Netherlands is in the top three when it comes to the fastest growing unemployment rate in the European Union. The EU's statistics bureau Eurostat said on Wednesday the jobless rate rose in the Netherlands in April from 4.6 percent to 5 percent, newspaper 'De Telegraaf' reported. Only Portugal and Luxembourg had higher growth rates. However, the Dutch unemployment rate was still under the EU average, which was stable in April at 8.9 percent.

Cabinet abandons youth broadcaster plan

The Cabinet has abandoned plans to transform one of the three Dutch public broadcasters into a youth channel. Instead, sources said the government is drawing up plans in which public broadcasters must attract an audience via a multimedia approach. Currently, young people are abandoning public television for music channels TMF and MTV. But the Christian Democrat CDA and Liberal VVD were opposed to the plan of coalition partner Democrat D66 to set up the youth broadcaster, newspaper 'De Volkskrant' reported.

Fight endangers Schiphol landing

A fight on an Austrian Airlines flight placed the safe landing of the plane at Schiphol Airport at risk on Tuesday night. Two brothers from Austria started scuffling and flight personnel had to intervene. This prevented the crew from carrying out landing procedures. Several passengers tried to help as panic erupted on the flight, 'RTL News' reported. The military police at Schiphol said the incident was an "extremely dangerous situation".

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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