Dutch news in brief - 12 March

12th March 2004, Comments 0 comments

Cabinet to ease WAO entry conditions


Cabinet to ease WAO entry conditions

The Cabinet is set to ease the approval criteria for new recipients of the WAO worker disability pension, partly accepting advice from the Social Economic Council (SER). Employer and employee groups had demanded an easing of restrictions. The Cabinet is to discuss the future of the WAO. Unions are watching the outcome of talks with caution, having agreed on a two-year wage freeze late last year in exchange for concessions on WW employment benefits, the WAO and early retirement schemes. From 2006, only fully incapacitated workers will receive a WAO pension, but on demand from employer groups and unions, the conditions of entry are set to become less restrictive than initially intended.

Rent restriction 'not good enough'

Housing association Woonbond is disappointed with the agreement Housing Minister Sybilla Dekker and landlords reached this week over moderated rental price rises. The minister reached a deal with rental corporations Aedes, IVBN and Vastgoedbelang restricting rent from rising more than 2.9 percent, down from the annually-permitted 3.4 percent agreed to in 2001. But the Woonbond was critical of the fact the latest deal was a one-off and claimed it offered no solutions to renters on minimum-level incomes. Rents usually increase mid-year.

New companies important for employment

Start up frims are increasingly important for employment trends in The Netherlands, creating almost 120,000 jobs in 2002, economic research bureau EIM said. But the creation of new jobs by new companies in recent years has declined from the 140,000 in 2000. But the decline is much less that the loss of jobs from existing companies, EIM said.

Recruitment of Catholic priests 'a priority'

Dutch bishops must give "absolute priority" to the recruitment and training of new priests, Pope John Paul II told Dutch bishops attending their meeting with the leaders of the Catholic Church in the Vatican. The pope also urged a strengthening in the identity of Catholic education in the Netherlands. He said together with families, parishes and Catholic schools must guarantee the transfer of the Christian legacy.

Dutchman denied asylum in Belgium

A 47-year-old Dutchman has been refused asylum in Belgium. After his request was dismissed on Friday, the man moved out of the refugee centre at Sint-Truiden in Belgium. The director of the asylum seeker centre said the man had probably returned to the Netherlands. The Dutchman requested asylum because he did not receive financial support from the Dutch government. The man claimed he had a right to financial assistance. The Belgian immigration service gets on average one request for asylum from a Dutch national each year.

Father 'attacked teacher with iron bar'

A 39-year-old Rotterdam man was arrested on Wednesday on charges he used an iron bar to attack two teachers at his son's school. The victims suffered minor injuries, police said on Friday. The incident occurred after the man's 13-year-old son was sent home from school. The father appeared in court on Friday.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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