Dutch news in brief – 3 May

3rd May 2004, Comments 0 comments

Jets scrambled to intercept 'silent' 737

Jets scrambled to intercept 'silent' 737

Air traffic control authority Eurocontrol is demanding answers after two Dutch F-16s were ordered to intercept an uncommunicative plane flying in Dutch airspace on Saturday. Eurocontrol is demanding to know why the Boeing 737 — a passenger jet making a charter flight between the Norwegian city Bergen to Spain — could not be communicated with for about 45 minutes. The air traffic authority denies it was responsible for the lapse in communication. The F-16s broke the sound barrier in intercepting the jet shortly after 2pm on Saturday and the resulting noise was heard right across the centre of the Netherlands.

Cabinet to scrap early retirement concessions

The Cabinet intends to scrap its recently promised plan allowing workers to take a fiscally attractive early retirement package before the age of 65. Due to the lack of an accord between the government, unions and employers, the cabinet intends to proceed with its own plans, newspaper De Volkskrant reported. The government is reportedly informing the Parliament of its plans on Monday. Anyone who wishes to take an early pension can do so from their 63rd birthday, but will have to save for the early retirement themselves. The cabinet had previously agreed to offer early retirement concessions in exchange for a two-year wage freeze agreed with unions and employers last year. The wage-freeze agreement is now at threat.

Dutch tennis star escapes hotel blaze

Star Dutch tennis player Sjeng Schalken and his wife Ricky escaped a fire in the Parco dei Principe hotel in Rome on Saturday morning. Three people were killed in the blaze. Schalken was staying in the hotel with other professional tennis players such as Andy Roddick, Marat Safin, Tommy Haas and Max Mirni for the Masters Series tournament, which started on Monday. Investigations continue.

Iranian asylum seeker gains residence permit

The 30-year-old Iranian asylum seeker who sewed his eyes and mouth closed in a desperate attempt to remain in the Netherlands will gain a residence permit. The immigration service IND said on 29 April that Mehdy Kavousi will be allowed to remain in the country with his Dutch wife because a visit to the Iranian embassy in The Hague had uncovered new, crucial facts over his circumstances. It means that Kavousi will not need to return to Iran to obtain the correct documents for an MVV temporary entry visa.

Tilburg appoints replacement mayor

Zaanstad Mayor Ruud Vreeman has been appointed mayor of Tilburg. The Labour PvdA member replaces the deceased Johan Stekelenburg, who died of cancer in September last year. The other candidate for the job was the chairman of Christian trade union confederation Doekle Terpstra.

Potato still a favourite with Dutch households

Dutch nationals are still regular potato eaters with every Dutch household serving up the humble tuber on average 3.5 times each week. Each Dutch national eats on average 83kg of potatoes each year, a study conducted on assignment by Celavita indicated. Celavita is part of the Agrico group, one of the largest agricultural corporations in Europe.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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