Dutch news in brief, 15 November 2004

15th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

Wilders tipped to win 20 seats in Parliament

Wilders tipped to win 20 seats in Parliament

The one-man political party of former Liberal VVD MP Geert Wilders would win 20 seats if an election was held now, a Maurice de Hond survey of 2,000 voters indicated Monday. Gaining an extra two seats in comparison to the previous survey, De Hond said Wilders' improvement was due largely to the fact that the populist LPF party had lost 70 percent of its voters to Wilders. The Liberal VVD would fall to from 27 to 16 seats, while Labour PvdA would rise from 42 to 56 seats if an election was held now. About 50 percent of voters want PvdA leader Wouter as prime minister compared with 39 percent who opted for incumbent Jan Peter Balkenende (Christian Democrat CDA).

Mortgage tax breaks 'not up for discussion'

The Cabinet was not re-examining the existing tax reduction on mortgage interest repayments, Finance Minister Joop Wijn said in response Monday to comments from Housing Minister Sybilla Dekker indicating she wished to place the matter up for discussion in the following term of government. Dekker indicated she was in favour of a "fundamental investigation" into the fiscally attractive scheme, but Wijn told MPs that the cabinet will not amend the system and dismissed any need for such a discussion.

Door opens for elite women troops

Defence State Secretary Cees van der Knaap wants to recruit women as quickly as possible for elite Dutch military units, such as the marines and the submarine service. Recruitment of women for these units is presently a taboo subject. Speaking in the December issue of the magazine of military union VBM/NOV, Van der Knaap said he also wants a woman to be promoted to general before 2007. If was up to Van der Knaap, women could also serve with KCT commando corps and airborne brigade. Only a few women work with the airborne brigade while none serve with the KCT, despite the fact the unit accepts women if they pass rigid entry conditions.

Air France-KLM books 6.4pc rise in turnover

Airline Air France-KLM booked a 6.4 percent rise in turnover in the second quarter of 2004-05 financial year, the company reported Monday. Both companies reported in total a combined turnover of EUR 5.13 billion. Air France-KLM reported a 6.7 percent rise in passengers transport income and a 6.5 percent rise in income earned by freight. The French side of the joint venture booked a 5.6 percent rise in turnover to EUR 3.36 billion and KLM booked an 8.4 percent rise in turnover to EUR 1.78 billion. The company merged operations in May this year.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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