Dutch news in brief, Monday 21 December 2009
Read the roundup of today's Dutch press from Radio Netherlands.Dekker sails back into limelight
Papers published more on Laura Dekker, the girl who wanted to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the world. After going missing on Thursday she has been found on the Caribbean island of St Martin.
de Volkskrant provided the background to the story. Dekker planned to sail round the world earlier this year but was stopped from doing so by the courts. She was placed under the supervision of the Child Welfare Bureau until July 1 2010.
Thursday, she disappeared from her father's house, having withdrawn EUR 3,500. Her parents are separated, and her father only told her mother of the disappearance on Friday. The child welfare authorities were informed and a search party set off. Dekker’s lawyer said she might be taken into care once she is brought back to the Netherlands.
The AD quoted a family friend who said the courts are to blame for what has happened. "It's been in the air for some time. She was sick to death of all that child welfare bullshit [...] I can't blame her. So much has happened. Laura was convinced she'd do a great solo trip. She'd made meticulous preparations. She was really ready for it. And then she was blocked like that."
A child welfare spokesperson said: "It's clear she's caved in under all the attention. We hope the media won't swoop en masse on her again."
de Volkskrant reported on Yahia Bouyafa, a prominent administrator in the Dutch-Muslim community. Bouyafa has links to the fundamentalist group; the Society of Muslim Brothers or the Muslim Brotherhood, based in Egypt. The Dutch intelligence service (AIVD), said the Islamic organisation wants to set up an extremely orthodox bloc in Western Europe.
Bouyafa is on the board of one of three organisations applying to become the Dutch Muslim public service broadcaster. The broadcasting licence is due to be awarded to one of the applicants before the end of the year.
Although he denied links to the brotherhood, the paper says Bouyafa is chairman of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in the Netherlands (FION), which is part of a Europe-wide group.
Protestant schools reject 'gay' lessons
Trouw reported schools are unwilling to scrap unofficial rules which stop staff from living with out-of-marriage or gay partners. A majority of MPs want primary schools to teach children about sexual diversity, but the idea is being resisted by orthodox Protestant institutions.
Pieter Moens from a Protestant schools association told the paper: "We don't keep quiet about homosexuality. But it's going too far to say homosexuals are normal." He continued: "Teachers with homosexual feelings work in Protestant schools. But they don't want to live in relationships, because they choose a Christian lifestyle."
Amsterdam's Islamic College currently has no policy on gay teachers. Mustafa Kasri, deputy headmaster, says: "I don't think there's any concrete policy. However, tolerance is part of our mission.” He added; “Homosexuals may not be insulted or threatened: they must be able to come out as being homosexual."
Trouw also quoted Thijs Veraart, headmaster of a Roman Catholic school: "Young people use the word 'homo' as an insult. That tells you something, doesn't it? Schools should teach children how to be good citizens, and that includes dealing with all forms of discrimination, including that of homosexuals."
NRC newspaper group sold
Papers covered the sale of the NRC group of newspapers for EUR 70 million. "Today we are ourselves news" read an inside headline in NRC.next.
The report said over 200 editors from NRC Media voted to back the sale of the newspaper group to Dutch investment company Egeria and a television company.
It is hoped the sale will steer NRC Media into calmer waters after a year of uncertainty in the wake of financial problems. The editors at NRC believe their independence is guaranteed under the terms of the sale.
The new owners stressed their "sacred belief" in the future of newspapers. They think they can boost sales of both NRC Handelsblad and NRC.next, and that the latter should compete more with de Volkskrant.
The AD and De Telegraaf covered the problems caused by the snowfall of the last few days. The AD's headline read: "Heavy snow paralyses the Netherlands" and the report went on: "People advised not to travel by train again today".
"It's going to be bitter" announced De Telegraaf's headline. It said the cold weather is set to continue until Christmas. That means continued uncertainty for drivers and rail passengers. The chance of a white Christmas is growing by the day. If we do manage one, it will apparently be the first for over 25 years.
Radio Netherlands/ Mike Wilcox/ Expatica