Dutch news in brief, 11 February 2005

11th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

Progress in share lease legal battle

Progress in share lease legal battle

Aegon has agreed to pay Dexia EUR 218 million to be used to pay investors who lost money in a disputed share lease scheme ran by Aegon subsidiary Labouchere, which Dexia took over in 2000. Dexia is also prepared to put forward EUR 207 million to settle the legal battle, on top of the EUR 500 million it had already reserved. Investors ran into financial problems after shares they bought on borrowed money fell in price. They claim to have been misled by Dexia about the risks and earlier arbitration attempts by the ombudsman stranded last year. Former European Central Bank chief Wim Duisenberg will now try and bring all parties to a final agreement in what is the largest collective legal battle in Dutch history.

Schiphol tunnel shut down

Train traffic to and from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam was briefly halted on Friday after a person was seen inside the rail tunnel. A search in the tunnel was launched and a mechanic was found working on electronic equipment, newspaper De Telegraaf reported. Both the train driver who saw the man and the mechanic have been questioned by police, but it is unclear why it was not known that the mechanic was working in the tunnel. Delays for commuters to and from Schiphol extended to one hour, while Amsterdam-Leiden passengers were diverted on other routes. Continued delays of up to 30 minutes were expected despite the re-opening of the tunnel later in the afternoon.

Budget sweetener in the works

Social Affairs Minister Aart Jan de Geus has promised a budgetary sweetener will be offered to middle-income earners next year. He said on Friday that the 2006 Budget must take into account the worsening situation of people with a net income of EUR 1,500 to 3,100 per month. "Income policy is not only for minimum-income earners," he said. Research by the regional press service GPD has revealed that families in this income bracket are cutting spending just to make ends meet. Savings on holidays, clothes and supermarket shopping are the most common cost-cutting options.

Life in jail for student's murder

The South African man who killed Dutch student Marleen Konings was sentenced by a court in Cape Town on Friday to life in jail. Ferdinandt Mostert will be forced to serve at least 25 years of his sentence, before becoming eligible for parole. Konings, 24, was shot and killed in December 2003 near Swellendam in South Africa. Mostert, 47, claimed he accidentally killed Konings when she became hysterical because he wanted to kill a deer. In another case, he was also found guilt of killing former cellmate Michael Victor in 1997.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

0 Comments To This Article