Dutch news in brief, 23 February 2005

23rd February 2005, Comments 0 comments

EU Constitution referendum on 1 June

EU Constitution referendum on 1 June

The Dutch referendum on the European Union Constitution will be held on 1 June, it was announced on Wednesday. The referendum commission said the date was chosen because it allowed the poll to be held prior to the start of the summer holiday period. The referendum gives the Dutch public the opportunity to express an opinion over the new constitution, but the result is non-binding on the government. A sum of EUR 1 million has been allocated to referendum campaign and heightening public awareness of the poll.

Painters face greater risk of birth defects

Painters have a greater risk that their children will be born with a birth defect compared with other groups, new research indicates. Up until 2000, painters in the Netherlands often worked with thinners. These chemicals led to more birth defects and other syndromes, the St. Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen found. Comparing the children of 1,500 painters with 1,500 carpenters, it was found that 4 percent of painters' children had a birth defect compared with 1 percent of carpenters' children.

Tsunami death toll climbs to 22

The Dutch death toll from the Indian Ocean tsunami last year climbed to 22 on Wednesday. There are still about 15 Dutch nationals listed as missing, presumed dead. A further five are listed as difficult to trace and are feared to have been in the region hit by the devastating tsunami on 26 December.

Police trap call girls red handed

Detectives summoned a number of call girls to an Eindhoven address on Monday night — not for pleasure, but for investigation purposes. Two women were arrested for being illegal immigrants in the Netherlands. Police contacted 12 escort agencies in the Eindhoven region and five of them sent a call girl to the address given. The arrested women were a 30-year-old Hungarian and a 21-year-old Yugoslavian woman. Both have been handed over to immigration police.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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