Dutch news in brief, 13 March 2006

13th March 2006, Comments 0 comments

Fewer cigarettes and 'shagjes' being sold

Fewer cigarettes and 'shagjes' being sold

Dutch people have cut their consumption of cigarettes and shag tobacco by a quarter since 1995, according to figures published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on Monday. Consumption of tobacco fell by 9 percent last year compared to 2004. The number of smokers in the Netherlands has declined sharply in recent years, with a drop of more than 400,000 to four million between 2001 and 2004. Despite the decline, the Dutch public smoked 25 billion cigarettes and roll-your-own 'shagjes'  last year, the CBS said.

Original Ikea store closes

Home furnishings retailer Ikea announced on Monday it is closing its store at Sliedrecht near Rotterdam from 1 July. The Swedish company launched its Dutch operations at Sliedrecht in November 1978. The company said the premises is too small to house the full Ikea range of products and there are no plans to expand its 14,000 square metres of floor space.

Spring 'a month late' 

Spring in the Netherlands this year will begin almost four weeks later than was the case in the last five years, according to Wageningen University and the Dutch Butterfly Conservation foundation. Experts based their prediction that the season will begin on 10 April on the late blooming of flowers and appearance of butterflies.

Baarsjes to re-instate cross memorial

Officials in the Baarsjes district in the west of Amsterdam have bowed to demands to  reverse the decision to remove a white cross from in front of a mosque being built there. The cross is dedicated to “Aan hen die vielen” (To those who fell) during World War II. The cross was removed for the duration of construction work in the area but it emerged last week the intention was not to put it back afterwards as some Muslim groups found it objectionable. Now the council says it will be returned when the building work is completed in 2008.

Infamous murderers 'meet'

The  'Nationale Tonee' theatre group in The Hague premieres 'Volkert en Mohammed' on 8 June. Written by Ger Beukenkamp and directed by Johan Doesburg, the Dutch-language play recounts a fictitious meeting between Volkert van der Graaf and Mohammed Bouyeri. Van der Graaf, who was an animal-right activist, shocked the Netherlands when he shot and killed politician Pim Fortuyn in 2002. Muslim extremist Bouyeri killed filmmaker Theo van Gogh in November 2004.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news


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