Dutch news in brief - 21 June 2004

21st June 2004, Comments 0 comments

PM: EU constitution will make rules clearer

PM: EU constitution will make rules clearer

The European Union's agreement on the European Constitution is significant and historic, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said after the EU summit in Brussels last week. Balkenende is pleased that after two years of intensive preparation, the EU's government leaders have closed a deal. "More than ever, Europe now needs a basic set of rules and principles," he told the government.nl ezine. The final text of the constitution was put to leaders of the 25 EU states, who approved it on Friday night. The constitution sets out the powers of EU national governments and the union's various institutions. It includes a charter of fundamental rights and a detailed catalogue of how the union will conduct internal and foreign policies.

MPs keen to crackdown on illegal immigration

MPs are demanding that immigrant involved in crime in the Netherlands should be detained and deported more speedily than in presently is the case. The PvdA said on Monday that only criminal illegal immigrants should be declared undesirable, but the Christian Democrat CDA, Liberal VVD and the populist LPF are demanding that all illegal immigrants who refuse to leave the land should be declared undesirable, paving the way for their deportation. The demands were outlined to Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk as MPs in the Lower House, Tweede Kamer, discussed the Cabinet's plan to crackdown on illegal immigration. Meanwhile, MPs have also demanded a tougher crackdown against landlords who rent homes to illegal immigrants.

Dutch the most tolerant Europeans

The Dutch are the most tolerant people of Europe, a survey by Reader's Digest indicates. One out of every five Europeans believes the Dutch are the most tolerant people, but think that the Germans are bad mannered, praise the British for their humour and the Italians for their charm. About 20 percent of Europeans questioned and one out of three Dutch nationals chose the Germans as the least pleasant people. Almost half of the surveyed Dutch are annoyed by the unashamed behaviour of Germans and their poor manners. Europeans in general like Italians, but dislike Germans. A total of 47 Dutch people fall for the charms of Italians and Dutch women in particular praise Italian cooking skills. Reader's Digest surveyed 4,000 Europeans in 19 countries for the study which will be published at the end of June.

Radio 538 most popular radio station

Youth broadcaster Radio 538 has overtaken Sky Radio as the most popular radio station. Radio 538 had an 11.7 percent share of the market in the period April-May compared with Sky which had 11.3 percent. Sky radio has been the market leader since 1997, when it overtook public broadcaster 3FM, which is now listed 5th with a 7.6 share of the market. The most well listened public broadcaster is Radio 2, which is third position in terms of total market share.

LPF appoints new executive

The populist LPF appointed a new executive committee at a party meeting in Rotterdam on Saturday after the old committee resigned in the face of severe criticism, particularly from MP Gerard van As. MP and a former immigration minister Hilbrand Nawijn was appointed to the new executive, which consist of six people.  LPF leader Mat Herben said the new executive has the full faith of LPF MPs and the party's financial backers, who include real estate magnates Ed Maas and Chris Thünnessen. The party of assassinated politician Pim Fortuyn entered into government with the Christian Democrat CDA and Liberal VVD in 2002, but internal fighting led to the collapse of the coalition before the year's end. The LPF is now in opposition.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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