Dutch news in brief, 22 December 2005

22nd December 2005, Comments 0 comments

Staff get 4.2m Christmas hampers

Staff get 4.2m Christmas hampers

Employers are giving out at least 4.2 million Christmas hampers to their staff this year, and more are still being ordered, voorlichtingsbureau Kerstpakketten (Christmas hamper information office) said on Thursday. It is estimated 4 million hampers were distributed to employees last year.

Jobs market rebounds

For the first time in four years the number of jobs in the business community has risen, according to figures on the third quarter published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on Thursday. The total number of jobs also increased in the second quarter of the year, thanks to growth in the public sector (government, health and education). The number of jobs in the private sector rose by 4,000 in the third quarter, while there were 3,000 more in the public sector. Firms and institutions in the Netherlands employed a total of 7.42 million people in the third quarter.

Police discover Samurai duel

Police officers investigating strange noises from a parking garage in The Hague on Wednesday evening came upon a scene worthy of Christopher Lambert's Highlander movies. When they arrived at the garage on Zwolsestraat, they discovered two men battling each other with Japanese Samurai swords. The duellists were dressed in traditional Japanese attire and a third man was filming the action. The swordsmen, aged 22 and 23, were taken to the police station, where it was established they were only play acting for the camera. They were released after a "good talk and the necessary advice," the police said on Thursday.

Hofstadgroep suspect freed

A court in Amsterdam freed Rachid B., 29, on Thursday in the ongoing trial of Muslim men charged with membership of the Hofstadgroep. The authorities claim the 14 men on trial are part of a terrorist organisation. Rachid B. is close friends with Mohammed B., the man jailed for life for the murder of film director Theo van Gogh. Rachid B. insists he is not a Muslim extremist and he says he knew nothing about his friend's plans. Rachid B. has already spent 13 months in custody and the panel of three judges ruled that he would not get a longer sentence if convicted. The man's lawyer believes his client will be acquitted.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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