Dutch news in brief, 23 September 2004

23rd September 2004, Comments 0 comments

MP writes to Queen over Budget Day furore

MP writes to Queen over Budget Day furore

The justice spokesman for the populist LPF party has written to Queen Beatrix to express his sorrow at a commotion that blew up about what was said during his meeting with the monarch on Budget Day last Tuesday. MP Joost Eerdmans admitted that he spoke to others about his short meeting, but he denied hearing her say her Speech from the Throne — in which she outlined the government's plans for 2005 — was "boring". The government information service RVD issued a statement earlier to refute claims in the media that she had made this remark. Parliament chairman Frans Weisglas was also furious that a MP might have let such an indiscretion slip out and he called on all offenders to come to his office for "a lesson in statesmanship". This is not the first time there have been suggestions that Queen Beatrix has expressed unhappiness with the contents of a speech prepared for her by her government.

Church groups provide money for Haiti

Two Dutch Protestant aid organisations have provided EUR 250,000 in disaster relief for Haiti where the tropical storm Jeanne has killed hundreds of people and left thousands more homeless. The groups Kerkinactie, or Church in Action, and the ICCO said the money will go to providing drinking water, food and medicines. Some of it will also be used to fund psychological help for the victims and reconstruction works. The northwest of Haiti took the brunt of Jeanne and in the city of Gonaives alone, officials reported 600 hundred people were killed and 20,000 made homeless.

Lawyer denies money-laundering allegation

Amsterdam lawyer Evert Hingst has angrily denied claims he was involved in money laundering and forgery. He said on an internet site on Thursday that if the allegations were true, "I would have relocated to a tropical island a long time ago." Justice officials searched the offices of Toenbreker solicitors on the Keizersgracht  where he works and his two private addresses on Tuesday. Hingst has said the police were looking for a particular document which is now in the client's possession. It has been reported that this client is a man from Den Bosch who has been arrested on suspicion of laundering millions of euros of drugs money. Hingst confirmed that apart from his work for the suspect, he bought a car from him.

Remkes warns firefighters over demonstrations

Interior Minister Johan Remkes has warned police officers not to use their official vehicles when protesting against the government's budget plans. The minister said in an interview with newspaper De Telegraaf that firefighters had gone too far during their actions in The Hague and Rotterdam. Fire department trucks were used in the protests and firefighters forced their way into town halls. There were also clashes between police officers and firefighters, Radio Netherlands reported.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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