Dutch news in brief, 29 November 2004

29th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

EUR 4.5 million in extra security for Schiphol

EUR 4.5 million in extra security for Schiphol

New safety regulations imposed by the European Union on Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam will cost EUR 4.5 million, the Justice Ministry said Monday. Part of the costs will be incurred by the installation of new electronic doors and hiring 350 extra security personnel. Starting from 1 December, passengers from outside the EU who travel via Schiphol to other EU nations will be more intensely checked.

Leiden to gain world's largest wireless network

The Leiden region will soon have the largest free, wireless computer network in the Netherlands as Wireless Leiden links its system to those of foundations working for wireless internet in the regions Jacobswoude, Rijnwoude, Zoetermeer, Alphen aan den Rijn and Katwijk. This means that users in the region will be able to communicate with others for free in the entire region. The network will be based on WiFi (Wireless Fidelity). Users only need a special network card and antenna and the network can be used by libraries, schools and public users for everyday internet activities. The present Leiden network is already one of the world's largest.

600 asylum seekers disappear in 12 months  

More than 600 asylum seekers disappeared from eight refugee shelters in a 12-month period, the ethnic minorities support group SMO said Monday. The SMO investigated how many people disappeared between August last year and August 2004 and found 623 had vanished, a relatively high figure compared with previous years. There were almost 2,800 asylum seekers staying at the refugee shelters in August this year as they awaited the assessment of their application for asylum. The missing asylum seekers become illegal immigrants, return to their land of origin or join family in other provinces.

Greens urge scrapping of Environment Ministry

Green-left party GroenLinks demanded the abolition of the Environment Ministry on Monday. It claimed environment ministers in the past 15 years have achieved very little. A party investigation has shown that environment ministers have felt isolated in cabinets and often backed down on their proposals. GroenLinks said the ministries of Finance, Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Transport are carrying out the responsibility of the environment ministry, which is part of the Housing and Spatial Planning Ministry. It called for the creation of a Sustainable Development Ministry to be involved in spatial, economic and environmental policy.

Builders hurt in shed collapse

Three construction workers were injured on Monday when an under-construction shed collapsed in Beverwijk. Police said no one was killed in the accident in the port area De Pijp. Two of the three injured workers were only slightly hurt, while the third suffered more serious injuries. All are expected to live. It is not yet known why the shed — constructed out of steel girders — collapsed. Concrete sheets were being placed on the first level of the shed when the structure collapsed.

Sinterklaas 'at risk' from Santa

The preservation of Sinterklaas association (VBS) has sent an urgent letter to the Dutch Parliament's education, culture and science commission urging it to come to the rescue of the famous saint. The VBS claimed the more commercial Santa Claus is winning greater support among the nation's youth despite the fact they would soon be required to pass the Sinterklaas tradition onto their children. The association has urged that 5 December — the day Dutch nationals celebrate the feast of Saint Nicolas with the giving of presents — be declared a national holiday. It also wants a ban on the appearance of Santa Claus (known as the Kerstman in Dutch) until 7 December. The VBS told the commission in its letter that its proposals were not a joke and were in fact very serious.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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