Dutch news in brief, 9 August 2004

9th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

Antillean airline bailed out of passenger crisis

Antillean airline bailed out of passenger crisis

The Curacao island government has given Antillean airline Dutch Caribbean Airlines (DCA) more than EUR 3 million to bring home passengers stranded in the Netherlands and on Curacao, Radio Netherlands reported. All flights were cancelled last week because the cash-strapped airline did not have sufficient funds to ensure it had reliable aircraft. Up to 1,250 people have been stranded. Also, a plane it was using was not fitted with a bullet-proof cockpit door as is compulsory on transatlantic flights since the 11 September terrorist attacks in the US. It was banned from take-off from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam late last month. The Curacao government has attached conditions to the loan, demanding the resignation of DCA chief Mario Evertsz and presentation of a rescue plan within one month.

Alarm over 4th asylum seeker drowning death

A 39-year-old asylum seeker from the refugee shelter Doorn drowned while swimming with friends on Friday night in the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal. He was the 4th asylum seeker to have drowned in the past few weeks. Two asylum seeker sisters aged seven and nine drowned on 3 August in the Lage Veld in Wierden and a 16-year-old boy drowned in the Aekingameer near Appelscha on 30 July. A 26-year-old asylum seeker narrowly escaped drowning in Luttelbert on 5 August. The refugee shelter association COA has raised alarm about the deaths, distributing posters warning that swimming can be dangerous. Many asylum seekers originate from countries that have little water.

Dexia eases debt repayment scheme

Bank Dexia has agreed to ease debt repayment regulations for share lease investors in financial trouble. The new approach will apply to those who have missed repayments three times in the past three years, social security recipients on benefits longer than two years, people aged 80 or older and those who are required to repay more than EUR 1,000 per month, news agency Novum reported. About 90,000 investors are taking legal action against Dexia after building up heavy debts in a share lease scheme, in which they invested in the stock market with borrowed funds from Dexia.

New party demands government accountability

After the success of the new anti-fraud political party Transparent Europe in the European Parliament elections in June, the Netherlands has also got a new party demanding better public accountability. Three people people have established Nederland Transparant (Transparent Netherlands) and registered the party with the Dutch Electoral Council. One of the founders, Fons Schirris, said the party intends to run in every Dutch election and asserted that it was not affiliated with the party Transparent Europe of anti-EU corruption campaigner Paul van Buitenen. Despite this, both parties are focused on making the spending of money by the government more transparent, claiming that at present accountability is unsatisfactory.

Fire forces evacuation of beach

Fire raged over 25ha of forest and sand dunes in the Donkere Duinen near Den Helder on Monday. Three fire brigade units were called in to fight the blaze and with an easterly wind blowing the fire towards the sea, police ordered the evacuation of the beach near the Donkere Duinen exit. Police said several hundred people were evacuated from the beach as the fire raged on the border between the forest and sand dunes, newspaper De Telegraaf reported. But a campsite, zoo and restaurant located in the forest were not at threat, police said. It is suspected that the fire was lit deliberately.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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