Dutch news in brief – 7 May

7th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

Bolkestein quits as EU commissioner

Bolkestein quits as EU commissioner

Dutchman Frits Bolkestein, 71, has opted against another term as a European Union commissioner, the Government Information Service (RVD) said on Friday. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said the decision was a "pity", saying that he would have received backing from the Cabinet. The prime minister said the government will dynamically seek a replacement. Bolkestein, a former Liberal VVD leader, has been serving as the European Internal Market and Tax Commissioner since 1999. The term of the current European Commission ends in October.

D66 raises doubts over Iraq security mission

The Democrat D66 has doubts about extending the Netherlands' peacekeeping mission in Iraq, Radio Netherlands reported. Leader Boris Dittrich said the party will only agree if the United Nations plays a large role. Also, the party wants the US to transfer more authority to the Iraqis than is currently planned. If D66 votes against extending the mission, there would be only a slight parliamentary majority in favour of doing so. There are currently about 1,300 Dutch troops in Iraq.

VVD leader hints LPF should disband

On the second anniversary of the death of maverick politician, Pim Fortuyn Liberal VVD parliamentary leader Jozias van Aartsen hinted on Thursday night the populist party set up by the anti-immigration politician should consider disbanding. The LPF won 26 seats at the May 2002 election after the death of Fortuyn, but was reduced to just eight seats at the January 2003 poll. Opinion polls indicate it would retain just a few seats if an election was held now and Van Aartsen said if he was an LPF member, he would reflect upon this.

BMG wins battle against 'illegal' Boris CDs

Record company BMG has abandoned legal action against Dutch magazine Nieuwe Revu to prevent it from selling a CD of songs from Idols winner Boris. The magazine informed BMG it will stop sales of the CD. Talks continue in regards compensation for the CDs already sold to members of the public. The CD contained old songs from Boris and his former band Sofuja and BMG claimed the CD was illegal. The organisation defending artist rights, Buma/Stemra, did not approve of the reproduction of the CD.

Early release prisoners face tough conditions
Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner intends to place conditions on the early release of Dutch prisoners. Such conditions could include a ban on entering a certain area or an obligation to report to authorities. The minister — who sent his legislative proposal to the prosecution office (OM), judges and lawyers on Friday — might also impose bans on the use of alcohol or drugs, or force criminals to start courses of study. The plan is designed to ease the burden on the nation's penitentiary system.

Boys remanded on gang rape charges

The five boys accused of raping a 14-year-old Rotterdam girl were remanded in custody for an extra 10 days on Thursday. The boys have been identified as three brothers and two friends. The rape is alleged to have occurred on 3 March and investigations continue.

Ocean's 12 in Amsterdam

Filming for the follow up to the blockbuster movie Ocean's 11 began in Amsterdam this week. Shooting in Amsterdam for the sequel - appropriately named Ocean's 12 – began on the corner Keizersgracht and the Hotel Pulitzer on Wednesday under the watchful eye of a team of journalists and fans keen to see stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon. The film crew will spend most of the month shooting scenes in various locations around the city. Set three years after Ocean's 11, the sequel shows Danny Ocean gathering up his complete gang of con artists and thieves from the first film in New York City before they all jet off to Amsterdam, Rome and Paris to pull off three separate heists.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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