Dutch news in brief, 24 May 2006

24th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

Mega traffic jams for holiday, Motorist organisation ANWB warned drivers the main roads would be very busy on Wednesday afternoon. Ascension Day on Thursday is a national holiday and thousands of people have taken Friday off to enable them to enjoy a long weekend away, either in the Netherlands or abroad. ANWB said traffic jams could reach a total length of 400 kilometres between 4.30pm and 7pm. The heavy rain and high winds battering the country were also expected to slow the traffic further.

Mega traffic jams for holiday

Motorist organisation ANWB warned drivers the main roads would be very busy on Wednesday afternoon. Ascension Day on Thursday is a national holiday and thousands of people have taken Friday off to enable them to enjoy a long weekend away, either in the Netherlands or abroad. ANWB said traffic jams could reach a total length of 400 kilometres between 4.30pm and 7pm. The heavy rain and high winds battering the country were also expected to slow the traffic further.

Belgian jailed for fatal scaffolding disaster

Belgian scaffolding designer M.S., 34, was jailed for 12 months by a court on Wednesday for the manslaughter of five maintenance workers at the Amercentrale power station in the Dutch town of Geertruidenberg on 23 September 2003. They died when the scaffolding in a boiler they were working on collapsed. The court in Breda also imposed a EUR 450,000 fine on S.'s employer Albuko from the Belgian town of Wijnegem: 450.000 euro. The court said S. and his company had acted recklessly. A second scaffolding company Hertel from Rotterdam, was ordered to pay a lesser fine of EUR 300,000. The presiding judge said this company, unlike Albuko, had taken steps to prevent a similar accident occurring again. A lawyer for S., who did not turn up for the hearing, said his client felt morally responsible for the accident.

Five adults steal two tiny pups

Police in the eastern town of Bennekom arrested five adults for stealing two tiny chihuahua puppies from a house on Tuesday evening. The two women, aged 30 and 60, and three men, aged 25, 41, 59, were caught red handed. Their only excuse was that they really wanted to have chihuahuas but they were too expensive to buy.

DNA investigation in Alkmaar

Justice Officials in Alkmaar have decided to hold a large scale DNA investigation in West Friesland in a bid to track down the person responsible for raping six elderly women in care homes in the region in 2004 and 2005. Officials would not say how many men will be asked to give a DNA sample.

Labour queries royal flights

Dutch Labour Party (PvdA) called for an investigation into the 'flight behaviour' of the Dutch royal family. The party wants to know how much the government spends on flights for royals on private business and why the House of Orange doesn't foot the bill for these.

Verdonk accuses opponent of fraud

The contest for the leadership of the Liberal Party (VVD) became fiercer on Wednesday when Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk accused opponent Mark Rutte of fraud. Her campaign team alleged the junior minister's supporters had sought membership lists from at least party branches. Both sides had agreed not to do this. Rutte denied his side had sought the lists. The 40,000 members of the party had until 4am on Wednesday to cast their votes. The result with be announced on 31 May.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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