Dutch news in brief - 25 June 2004

25th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

Troops to depart for Iraqi security mission

Troops to depart for Iraqi security mission

A detachment of 160 Dutch troops will depart from Eindhoven on Monday for Iraq as the first replacement of troops already serving in the southern Iraqi province al-Muthanna. The military officer of the new detachment, Lieutenant-Colonel K. Matthijssen, will be among the first re-deployment and will take up command on 14 July. The new group of Dutch troops — made up of the Schaarsbergen airborne brigade, a helicopter detachment and military police — will remain in Iraq for four months. Dutch MPs backed the Cabinet's decision this week to extend the nation's peacekeeping mission in Iraq for another eight months.

NS increases rail ticket prices

Dutch rail operator NS confirmed on Friday that train tickets will increase in price by an average 2.075 percent on 1 July, the second price rise this year. Prices rose by 4 percent in January. The NS had previously reached an agreement with consumer organisations allowing the price rise if a sufficient number of trains travelled on time. The NS has since said it met demands that 84.4 percent of trains travel on time over a 12-month period.

Minister urges against sector-wide wage rises

Social Affairs Minister Aart Jan de Geus said on Friday he wants to reach an accord with unions and employers to ensure they do not enforce agreed wage rises — for this year or next — onto non-affiliated companies in the same sector. The minister was responding to the trade union movement's formal decision this week to break the two-year wage freeze accord reached with the Dutch government late last year. Unions feel they are no longer bound to the accord after failing to reach a deal with the government on fiscally attractive pre-pension schemes, but De Geus claims wage moderation is important for employment growth.

Donner bans 'no cure, no pay' legal contracts

Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner has banned the introduction of a "no cure, no pay" legal system. Donner said he wanted to prevent the formation of the image that lawyers walk away with the bulk of the award in successful personal injury damages cases. He was also concerned they would only take on cases that they expected to win. The Dutch lawyers association, Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten, reached an agreement in March for a five-year experiment allowing the public to sign performance contracts with lawyers stipulating that he or she would only be paid by obtaining a pre-agreed result. The trial was scheduled to start from 1 November 2004.

Soldiers cleared over Iraqi deaths

Dutch troops will not be prosecuted for three shootings that resulted in the deaths of three Iraqis earlier this year, the public prosecution has confirmed. It had been reported earlier this week that the prosecution had requested more information from military police about the incidents on 17, 21 and 25 April. It later concluded after further investigations that the soldiers acted appropriately.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch News

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