Dutch news in brief, Friday 8 May 2009
Read the roundup of today's Dutch press from Radio Netherlands.
Strict security in place for Queen's Day commemoration
Strict security measures will be in place in Apeldoorn for Friday evening’s commemoration after last week’s Queen’s Day drama.
According to AD, residents have been told to park their cars in designated car parks. No traffic will be allowed in the north-west part of the town, including the Queen’s palace, a nearby church which has opened its doors to witnesses and well-wishers throughout the week and the Orpheus Theatre where the commemoration is being held.
The service will be attended by Queen Beatrix, Crown Prince Willem Alexander, Princess Maxima and cabinet leaders, as well as 1,200 other people: victims, eyewitnesses, relatives and members of the emergency services. Another 10,000 people are expected to follow the service on huge screens in the Market Square.
One Red Cross worker who was at the scene when a black car drove into a crowd of spectators told AD the sea of flowers marking the spot where six spectators and the driver died was “heartwarming”.
Queen’s Day killer’s parents speak out for first time
In an exclusive interview with the Dutch press agency ANP, the parents of Karst Tates – the driver in the Queen’s Day attack – said nothing indicated he would do such a thing. “It’s incomprehensible, we’re baffled.” One day before the tragedy, he had rung his mother to congratulate her on her birthday.
The couple heard about the incident while they walked through the Queen’s Day street market. Around 4pm, their other son phoned them to say it looked like Tates could have been the driver of the black car. By 6 pm, they were sure.
Although Tates led a withdrawn existence with no friends or intimate relationships, his parents had the impression that he was happy. He had got his life back on track after a period of debt and living rough. They did not know he was about to lose his home again because of money problems.
Swine flu may come back in autumn
The swine flu pandemic warned against by the World Health Organisation has failed to materialise, but Trouw reports it could come back in the autumn.
The virus is relatively slow to spread and mild. There have only been two deaths recorded outside Mexico, both in the United States. Only 200 to 300 new cases are discovered every day in the US, despite intensive testing. In Mexico the number of new cases being diagnosed has stabilised.
In the Netherlands a second case has emerged. A 53-year-old woman who flew back to Europe on 30 April has received the virus inhibitor Tamiflu. The first sufferer, a three-year-old toddler, has fully recovered.
Louis Kroes from the Leiden University Medical Centre told Trouw that increasing temperatures in the northern hemisphere have probably helped wipe out the virus for the time being. It will probably spend the summer in the southern hemisphere which is less densely populated. “It’s the northern hemisphere winters which are the motor for an epidemic.”
That gives scientists time to develop a vaccine, but the question remains of whom to distribute the limited supplies. So far, the young have been particularly susceptible to this strain of the H1N1 virus. The Health Council will advise Dutch Health Minister Ab Klink on the matter today.
Marco van Barsten not solely to blame for failure of Ajax
During Wednesday’s press conference former Ajax trainer Marco van Barsten announced his resignation. The NRC Handelsblad comments seldom has a trainer so clearly taken the blame for the failure of his team.
The paper goes on to call it a gracious gesture, but points out that with 11 trainers leaving the team before the end of their contracts in the past 12 years, it is not wholly his fault. NRC editor Erik Oudshoorn said the novice club trainer was taken on for too big a job.
In de Telegraaf legendary Dutch footballer Johan Cruijff, who predicted Van Barsten would become one of the best trainers in the world, blamed the Amsterdam club’s organisation: “If something is wrong with the structure and the leadership is not good, then you are doomed to failure.”
Only one trainer boasts a 100 percent record for winning in the past nine years at Ajax: Ruud Krol, who stayed in the job for only 17 days.
Belgium claims New York
Brussels is reported to be irritated by the Netherlands’ celebrations of 400 years of relations with New York.
De Telegraaf reports that, according to a documentary broadcast on Belgian television Friday night, it was not Dutchman Peter Stuyvesant who founded the first settlement in the Big Apple, but the Belgian Pierre Minuit. Moreover, they claim it was he who bought Manhattan for 60 guilders in 1626.
Radio Netherlands / Nicola Chadwick / Expatica