Dutch news in brief, 28 February 2006

28th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

Snow slows peak hour traffic, Motorists faced slippery roads on Tuesday morning as a result of snow showers. Weather bureau KNMI warned all roads under the line from Assen to Alkmaar in the north were icy. By 8.30am there were 48 traffic jams with a total length of 250 kilometres. The longest was 21 kilometres on the A9 between Alkmaar and Amstelveen. There were hardly any accidents on the major roads, police said.

Snow slows peak hour traffic

Motorists faced slippery roads on Tuesday morning as a result of snow showers. Weather bureau KNMI warned all roads under the line from Assen to Alkmaar in the north were icy. By 8.30am there were 48 traffic jams with a total length of 250 kilometres. The longest was 21 kilometres on the A9 between Alkmaar and Amstelveen. There were hardly any accidents on the major roads, police said.

Immediate speeding fines for foreign motorists 

Foreign motorists caught speeding at special checkpoints set up by the national police service (KLPD) will have to pay an on-the-spot fine from now on, newspaper 'AD' reported on Tuesday. Up to now foreign motorists often escaped unpunished for speeding offences as Europe does not have a system whereby countries compel their nationals to pay traffic fines incurred in other countries.

Man shot dead in Limburg

A man was shot dead in the Limburg town of Brunssum on Monday night. The police did not immediately release his name or speculate on the motive. And a 40-year-old man died during an armed robbery at his home in Nederweert on Sunday night. The victim, the owner of a disco, had just arrived home when the raiders struck.

Parties want to postpone energy sell-off

A parliamentary majority has called for national energy companies to remain in Dutch hands for the time being. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's Christian Democrats (CDA) and the main opposition party, Labour (PvdA), want a commitment from provincial and municipal authorities that they will not sell off their stakes in companies such as Essent, Nuon and Eneco. Economics Affairs Minister Laurens Jan Brinkhorst is pushing for partial privatisation. This has led to foreign companies gaining a stake in national utility companies in other European states. MPs are to discuss the issue with provincial and local authorities on 20 March.

Belgian 'deposit tourists' upset supermarkets

Dutch supermarket owners near the border with Belgium are happy when their southern neighbours pop in to do their shopping. They are not so happy about the Belgians coming to collect deposit money (statiegeld) for returning soft drink bottles. Dutch supermarket group CBL said its members have complained to Coca-Cola about the problem. The latest model of the large Coke bottle introduced in the Netherlands is identical to the one sold in Belgium. There is no deposit system in Belgium so many people on the border are now using the automated bottle-return machines in Dutch supermarkets to get money back on their Belgian bottles. Dutch supermarkets cannot recoup this money.

New Thalys high-speed train record

A Thalys high-speed train has reached a record speed of 331.1kmh during a test run between Rotterdam and the Belgian border. The test run was held on the new high-speed line HSL-South. The test runs started two weeks ago and are designed to test the railway and the new European safety system ERTMS. On 2 March, the last test run will take place in the Netherlands and test runs will then be conducted in Belgium. The new high-speed Amsterdam-Paris railway is scheduled to open in April 2007.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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