Dutch news in brief, 21 July 2004

21st July 2004, Comments 0 comments

Minister urges Dutch to give up 3 vacation days

Minister urges Dutch to give up 3 vacation days

Housing Minister Sybilla Dekker has said the Dutch economy would benefit if workers gave up two to three vacation days. "Would it be so bad to give up two of three vacation days? That would yield more labour productivity and be a good contribution to a solution to the economic problems," she said in an interview with magazine Elsevier. She also said the government would get more tax revenue and therefore more money for general expenditure. Dekker said the Netherlands and Germany have the most vacation days, but trade union confederation FNV said her figures were not right and claimed other European countries have more days off because they have a greater number of national holidays. The FNV was highly critical of the minister's comments and said workers and employers must continue talking about workplace conditions.

PM: Hitler bomb plot a European milestone 

On the 60th anniversary of a bid to kill Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said in Berlin on Tuesday that the assassination attempt was a "milestone" on the path to a united Europe. Balkenende was speaking as ceremonies were held to honour German Wehrmacht officers who were executed for their part in the 20 July 1944 plot against Hitler. The Dutch leader also said it was "an absolute honour" to be able to speak at such an occasion, a German DPA report said. "It is an event from a dark period when those in power rejected any idea of peaceful co-operation and this is what makes the moral meaning even deeper," he said.

Amsterdam wins Rokin metro station battle

Amsterdam Council correctly issued a permit for the construction of the Rokin metro station for the North-South line, the Council of State ruled on Wednesday. The ruling ends a long legal battle between the council and an association opposed to the construction, De Bovengrondse (The Above Grounder). Amsterdam Alderman Mark van der Horst said the council knew it was building a safe station, but the ruling had proved it. Amsterdam Court had ruled in September 2003 that the station permit did not guarantee safety standards.

Massage instructor convicted of lewd conduct

Maastricht Court sentenced a 36-year-old woman to a 100-hour community work order after finding her guilty of giving lewd massage and naked lessons to students at the Heerlen Beauty Centre. The woman, Ilona S., of Heerlen, was an instructor at the beauty centre. The case against the 61-year-old director, Alouis S. of Voerendaal, was adjourned on Wednesday. The prosecution has demanded a three-month suspended jail sentence and a 240-hour community work order against the director. Six students have lodged complaints of lewd conduct said to have occurred between 2000-03. The students were given lessons for the purpose of a body healthcare exam, but the director and the teacher allegedly gave the lessons while naked and removed the lingerie of the women during the massages.

Dutch woman survives lion's claws

A Dutch tourist ended of second best late Sunday when she drunkenly tried to pet a circus lion in southern France. The 21-year-old woman stuck her hand in the cage to touch the three-year-old lion when the animal sprung around and slashed at her with its claws, French news agency AFP reported. The tourist was taken to hospital in Montpellier with a wounded hand and neck. The incident occurred when the woman and her friends approached the enclosure following an evening of drinking in a campsite in the town of Vacquieres, near Montpellier. Police said the circus had not violated any safety regulations.

Dutch generally satisfied by lifestyle

Dutch nationals are in general very satisfied about their lifestyle and circumstances. They value sex, housing, sleeping and spiritual health the most. Dutch nationals are least satisfied about their weight and food, the survey by health insurer Zilveren Kruis Achmea found. Respondents were able to answer 120 questions on the website achmeahealth.nl. The researchers gathered the results from 100,000 survey participants.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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