Dutch news in brief, 7 August 2008

7th August 2008, Comments 0 comments

Find out what’s the latest news in the Netherlands in the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.

7 August 2008

Maddie case reopens in Amsterdam

The media appears to have descended on a shop assistant in Amsterdam after recently published Portuguese police records revealed that she reported sighting the missing toddler Madeleine McCann in 2007.
In AD and De Telegraaf, Annemarie Stam says the little girl asked her where her mummy was and said the woman with her had taken her from her holiday. When she asked her name, she told her it was Maddie.

The news of Madeleine McCann's disappearance had not broken in the international media when Stam spoke the girl "Otherwise I may have done something straight away" sighs Stam.

But the incident played on her mind, and after a couple of weeks she made a statement to the police. AD reports that it not clear what the Portuguese police did with the information.

Private detectives employed by the McCanns are travelling to Amsterdam to try to find more.
Police officers cycle for charity to Beijing
AD prints a picture of 12 police officers who cycled to Beijing to raise money for the charity "Right to play". The officers cycled 12,000 kilometres in 100 days. They set off from Amsterdam's Olympic stadium in April travelling along the silk route and passing through all kinds of territory including the Gobi desert.

"It was a beautiful, but difficult journey," says organiser Roel Wiersema, who has twice cycled to earlier Olympic Games in Munich and Athens. They were greeted in Beijing by Prince Willem-Alexander.

On Sunday they will announce how much money they have raised in the Heineken House, (a favourite haunt for Dutch sports fans at international sporting events).

They are not the only group to travel to Beijing. In addition to 77 old timers, an "Orange caravan" including a bus, 14 cars and seven motorbikes is due to arrive in the Chinese capital on Friday in time for the opening.
Utrecht  fastest-growing city in Western Europe
De Volkskrant reports that Utrecht is the fastest-growing city in Western Europe.

According to an economic research agency the Dutch city has the best economic prospects, and is predicted to grow 3 percent every year until 2012.

The success of the city is due to its central location and strong service sector. A spokesperson for the agency says "The IT sector and creative sector are large. Utrecht needs to become a centre of expertise and improve its infrastructure."

A study by Statistics Netherlands shows that the number of households in the Utrecht and Amsterdam regions will increase in the next few years. Almost half the population in the two cities is highly educated.

Job opportunities in Utrecht are also increasing faster than anywhere else in the country. In 2007 a record 2,600 companies were set up.

The study compared cities in EU countries, Russia, Norway and Switzerland. Overall economic growth in the Netherlands between 2007 and 2012 is expected to be average.

ANWB busy with emergency calls
The end of the summer holidays is drawing closer and NRC.Next says the Dutch Motoring Association (ANWB) is busier than ever answering emergency calls from holidaymakers.

Last weekend was already one of the busiest with the first wave of tourist returning home, but it is still very hectic in the emergency centre. "It seems busier than in previous years" says supervisor Thessa van Kints.

The digital map on the wall is covered with lights indicating the stranded vehicles of Dutch holidaymakers, waiting for repatriation.

The association predicted a 10-15 percent increase in calls with 8.5 million Dutch tourists going abroad this summer,  and has taken on an extra 250 people to man the phones.

New and exotic destinations has made it more difficult for the association to help people, and many travellers do not take out extra insurance when they  go on holiday, which means many are faced with extra costs if they do end up in hospital abroad.

The association is bracing itself for a very busy weekend as for some schools start again on Monday.
Carnival of the north
De Volkskrant prints a photo of Europe's largest inland lake sailing event which started on Wednesday: the 73rd edition of Sneek Week in Friesland, which is also known as the "carnival of the north". The aerial picture shows white sails dotted over a large lake in a typically flat landscape.

The event has its beginnings in 1814 when sailors turned out to welcome home a soldier they had feared dead, but who came home alive and well after deserting the French army.

[Radio Netherlands / Nicola Chadwick / Expatica]

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