Dutch news in brief, 26 April 2005

26th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

Monarchy expensive, but popular

Monarchy expensive, but popular

A survey has found that 51.5 percent of the public believe the royal family costs taxpayers too much money. The royal family costs EUR 84 million every year for royal salaries, personnel, security and the maintenance of palaces. Just 4.1 percent of those polled said this amount was not enough, while 44.4 percent said it was just right, research bureau De Vos en Jansen said. The monarchy itself is not in dispute. The Dutch public thinks Queen Beatrix can stay on the throne for as long as she wants, giving her an impressive score of 7.2 out of 10. But three-quarters of the population also think that Crown Prince Willem-Alexander is ready to ascend the throne, newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported.

Protest at weapon fair

Dozens of protestors demonstrated on Tuesday against the ITEC international weapons fair at the RAI convention centre in Amsterdam. The fair is being held from 26-28 April. Despite pushing and shoving with police, the protest passed off without major incident. Demonstrators carried bloodied dolls and bandages, while protest banners showed photos of concentration camps and diagrams of birth defects as a result of nuclear war. Mayor Job Cohen said in March the fair was "undesirable' but he could not ban it because weapons were not being sold at the event. Tuesday's protest threatened to get out of control at about 2.30pm when demonstrators blocked the gate at the entrance of the RAI building. Police intervened, but no arrests were carried out.

Death threat photos against Wilders

'Commemorative' photos of threatened MP Geert Wilders appeared in Rotterdam again on Tuesday. Wax candles, flowers and even teddy bears were also placed around the photos. The MP has lodged a police report. The photos could be seen as a veiled death threat against Wilders, who has sparked the ire of Muslim extremists for his criticism of Islam. The photos were found on trees in a park near the Euromast. Similar photos appeared throughout the port city last week.
Netelenbos wins mayoral post

Former transport minister Tineke Netelenbos has been appointed mayor in Oud-Beijerland, near Rotterdam, the province of Zuid Holland said on Tuesday. The 61-year-old will replace the previous incumbent who retires on 1 May. Netelenbos served as education state secretary and then transport minister between 1998 and 2002. She left national politics in 2003, but was heavily criticised by an investigative commission for allegedly withholding information from the parliament to win approval for large-scale infrastructure projects.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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