Dutch news in brief, 29 April 2005

29th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

Immigrant criminals face tougher sentences

Immigrant criminals face tougher sentences

Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner wants to allow judges to punish young immigrants convicted of crime more severely than native Dutch offenders, RTL News has reported. According to a confidential memo, Donner is particularly interested in allowing tougher sentencing for repeat offenders. He is said to be shocked by figures indicating immigrant youth commit crimes more often than native Dutch. He also wants to make parents more responsible for the actions of their children, introduce a social service work obligation as penalty. He is also considering new community service orders and night detention.

Funding allocated for imam courses

Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk is to allocate EUR 400,000 on courses of study for Muslim imams. Islamic organisations and education institutes must submit a proposal by 1 June. An independent commission of theologians, Islam academics and education experts will assess the course proposal. A subsidy may be granted to courses if they start in 2006 and if an Islamic organisation co-operates with a publicly funded education institute. Courses must be in Dutch and most students and teachers must originate from the Netherlands. The plan is aimed at stimulating the integration of imams and Muslims into Dutch society.

Drug smugglers to lose benefits

Military police at Schiphol Airport have sent the names of more than 1,400 drug smugglers to social security agencies in nine cities and towns across the Netherlands. The social security benefits of clients caught smuggling drugs will be stopped and previously paid benefits reclaimed, Radio Netherlands reported. The tactic is designed to deter drug smugglers.

Merger creates largest insurance firm

Interpolis, the insurer owned by Rabobank, will merge with Achmea, an insurance subsidiary of Eureko, both firms have confirmed. The merger will create the largest insurance company in the Netherlands, newspaper 'Het Parool' reported. Unions De Unie and CNV Dienstenbond are concerned about job losses caused by the potential merger. Should the deal go ahead, Rabobank will take a 37 percent share of Eureko. The merger will create a firm with income of premiums totalling EUR 9.1 billion. The 5,200 Interpolis workers will transfer to Eureko, which has 14,400 workers.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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