Dutch news in brief, Monday 20 April 2009
Read the roundup of today's Dutch press from Radio Netherlands.Netherlands boycotts UN racism summit
Many of today's papers cover the Netherlands' boycott of the United Nations racism conference which begins Monday in Geneva for fear the meeting will be hijacked by Islamic countries and will end up becoming an anti-Israel forum.
De Volkskrant points out other countries including the United States, Israel and Germany, are also not sending representatives to the meeting.
The Czech Republic, which holds the rotating European Union presidency, and other EU countries are being represented at the conference by less senior diplomats.
"The conference against racism is too important to be allowed to be used for political ends and for attacks on the West," said Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen in nrc.next.
"A number of countries, which have a long way to go as far as human rights are concerned, are using the conference to try and put religion above human rights, to limit the freedom of speech unnecessarily, to disregard discrimination on the grounds of sexuality and to put just one country, Israel, in the dock."
MPs may reject army imam
An article by Trouw talks about if Deputy Defence Minister Jack de Vries can expect his own Christian Democrat party (CDA) to back an opposition motion rejecting his appointment of a controversial imam as an army chaplain.
CDA spokesman Raymond Knops tells the paper he is going to advise his party's MPs to vote with the opposition and block the appointment.
"This imam… has made radical statements about the armed forces and the [Dutch] mission in Afghanistan. He has said Christians are at war with Islam and that he viewed Osama bin Laden as a liberator. As army chaplain he has to serve everybody, and that includes Christians," said Knops.
Criminal youths should be deported more often: Amsterdam councillor
The AD covers the call by Amsterdam councillor Ahmed Marcouch for criminal youths who do not hold permanent Dutch residency rights to be deported more often.
His proposal, backed by the police in Amsterdam's Slotervaart district, came after two Moroccan-Dutch brothers who allegedly head a local criminal gang and are said to responsible for a series of bag snatching and armed robbery crimes.
"The Netherlands shouldn't be welcoming to people who constitute a danger to it," explained Marcouch.
"We're talking about people who, rather than becoming Dutch citizens, prefer to renew temporary residence permits every five years because they have no real ties to the Netherlands… If people don't have right of residency and repeatedly commit serious crime, you should tell them: we won't renew your residency permits."
The paper reports local Slotervaart youths from the Moroccan community are angry at his comments and claim Marcouch is throwing his own people out of the country.
Veldhuis bags two world records
Swimming star Marleen Veldhuis smashed two world records at the Swim Cup event on Sunday in Amsterdam by completing the 50-metres butterfly in 25.33 seconds and the 50-metres freestyle in 23.96 seconds.
In an interview with de Volkskrant, Veldhuis said: "I went for it, because I knew I was on form. It's super that I managed it. Two world records in one day is really special after all, isn't it?"
AZ is new Dutch football league champions
Photos of the celebrations surround new Dutch football league champions, AZ Alkmaar, were published on many newspapers’ front pages.
De Telegraaf reports how the Alkmaar club were able to uncork the champagne bottles after 20 hours on Sunday evening.
The scenes on Saturday were quite different when AZ lost 2-1 at home to the Arnhem club, Vitesse, and tears were flowing on the stands in Alkmaar.
Ajax team’s loss to PSV Eindhoven Sunday putting the Amsterdam team out of the running for the number one position and make an AZ victory a certainty.
"You don't become champions in one match but in a whole season," said AZ captain Stijn Schaars.
AZ had a considerable lead in points over Ajax and Schaars said that he wasn't too nervous while following the Ajax-PSV match on television.
"We were reasonably relaxed as we watched."
Radio Netherlands / Mike Wilcox / Expatica