Dutch news in brief, Friday 19 December 2008

19th December 2008, Comments 0 comments

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

District nurse to make a comeback
Deputy Health Minister Jet Bussemaker wants district nurses to make a comeback as the key figures in health care in districts and neighbourhoods and replace 'the big home care corporations’, reports De Telegraaf.

"For many years, we had this special tradition of the district nurse....who was the eyes and the ears of the neighbourhood and knew everybody; knew when people needed help. This needs to be reintroduced in healthcare." said the deputy minister.

Bussemaker wants to break down the 'office window culture' of the big home care companies.

"Healthcare must once again be organised closer to home. Down with the referral culture!"

Over the next few years, the deputy minister will earmark dozens of millions of euros for the new policy: "It's not the system that occupies centre stage, but the patient. Who are you? What do you want? How do you want to live?"

Bussemaker expects that the reintroduction of district nurses will lead to a drop in demand for home care, as patients will be able to retain control instead of having their lives determined by home care corporations which want to provide as much care as they can.

Maximim blood alcohol level on water lowered
The cabinet lowered the maximum blood alcohol level for inland navigation from 0.08 to 0.05 percent, reports De Telegraaf.

The measure, which will apply to skippers on barges as well as oarsmen and yachtsmen, brings maximum blood alcohol levels on the water on a par with the legal limit on the road.

Labour Party MP Lia Roefs said she "never understood why people would be allowed to drink five glasses of beer while on the water. As if you would be able to steer your boat neatly into a lock after drinking that much."

The measure is intended to prevent accidents on the increasingly busy Dutch waterways.

Dutch in vanguard of UN gay rights initiative
A statement calling for an end to the discrimination and criminalisation of homosexuals was read out for the first time ever in the UN, De Volkskrant reports.

Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen, who travelled to New York for the occasion, spoke of a breakthrough.

He said that five to ten percent of the world population is homosexual: "Hundreds of millions of people who are being discriminated against". He called on the Vatican and Islamic countries to join a debate on the issue.

However, the Vatican and the organisations of Islamic countries opposed vehemently to any UN discussion of homosexuality.

The initiative earned Verhagen the praise of Human Rights Watch gay rights Director Boris Dietrich, who said it was "good to see a Christian Democratic minister refusing to give in"

In a reaction, the foreign minister said: "You don't have to take part in a Gay Parade to fight discrimination of homosexuals".

The non-binding resolution, which was read out by Argentina, was supported by 66 member states, including all EU member states, Australia and Brazil. Russia, the United States and China have refused to sign the resolution.

Couple displays moral support for divorced Muslims
A couple of Pakistani and Surinamese Hindustani descent want to draw attention to the position of divorced Muslims by publicly re-marrying, reports Trouw.

Sharif Sahebdin and Nazima Shaikh have both been married and the bride has a 13-year-old daughter from her first marriage.

Divorce and a second marriage remains a sensitive issue among Dutch Muslims. Nazima says that divorced Muslim women lose their status and are often seen as damaged goods. Her husband adds that many people asked him whether he'd lost his mind to marry a woman who already had a child by a different father.

The couple decided to make a statement: "We wanted to give some moral support to all divorced Muslims. A second marriage is really quite normal".

Borough Council Chairman Ahmed Marcouch, himself a divorcee, officiated at the marriage. "Divorce is still considered a disgrace, but we will have to find a way of dealing with it, because the number of divorces among Muslim is increasing rapidly."

Current generation of 'tweenagers' slightly dowdy
 De Volkskrant has a story on a recent survey on the dreams and expectations of twenty-year-olds. The paper writes that today's twenty-year-olds are not egoistic, nor hedonistic or idealistic but a bit dowdy.

Peter Kanne, researcher at TNS Nipo, which conducted the survey, said: "They don't believe they can change the world. They just want to live decent, caring lives".

The survey shows that most of those interviewed are generally happy about their lives; on average they awarded their lives 7.4 on a scale from one to 10.

An overwhelming majority of the twenty-year-olds - 95 percent - have a positive view of their own futures, even though they are slightly less optimistic about the future of the planet as a whole.

 Peter Kanne says that 'tweenagers' live in a relatively small world.

Thirty-three percent of those interviewed said their partners were the most important feature of their world. Self-improvement came first for 18 percent, while only one percent aims to amass wealth or make contribution to the world.

When asked about their biggest fear, most of those interviewed said they were not losing any sleep over the credit crisis or global warming but did fear a possible disaster in their immediate environment.   

[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]

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