Dutch news in brief, Monday 27 April 2009

27th April 2009, Comments 0 comments

Read the roundup of today's Dutch press from Radio Netherlands.

Rumours on Queen’s abdication
The telephone lines of the Government Information Service (RVD) have been jammed with callers asking if rumours that Queen Beatrix will step down Monday is true.

Monday is the 42nd birthday of Crown Prince Willem Alexander.

"It is the third time in the past four months that there’s been such a hype," said RVD spokesman Chris Breedveld. "But there is nothing to announce."

AD writes on all the reports carried by various media which has built up the hype.

Reports of the Queen stepping down appeared on De Telegraaf’s website a while ago and the Belgian publication Humo wrote a few months ago that "reliable sources" had reported Beatrix would abdicate on the crown prince’s 42nd birthday.

"The German press agency DPA is preparing itself for an announcement today. In Argentina it is being widely reported that today Máxima will become queen."

However according to AD, well-informed sources say Queen Beatrix will announce her abdication next year, on the 30th anniversary of her coronation.

Wilders more radical in private, says mole
A headline in de Volkskrant reports that the conservative VVD party has a ‘mole’ in the camp of the leader of the populist Freedom Party, Geert Wilders.

In an interview with de Volkskrant, VVD MP Fred Teeven, who is responsible for his party's contacts with the Freedom Party, said he had been promised that he would be able to attend their closed meetings.

"But they are not keeping their promise. They won’t let me in." Instead an unidentified VVD member has been attending Freedom Party meetings throughout the Netherlands.

The ‘mole’ reports that Wilders’ language is even harder in private than in public.

Vacation starts off with hefty fines for many
AD reports of many Dutch people who are starting their May vacation with hefty fines as numerous police checked caravans headed for the coast to see if they were carrying too much weight or were equipped with the wrong kinds of mirrors.

"Motorcycle policemen plucked around a hundred vacationers from the road on Friday and Saturday." Around half of them received a fine. A total of 73 fines were handed out with some people receiving two.

The action was good news for Janny de Baan, who sells snacks from a highway stall near the site where police officers stopped the caravans.

De Bann usually depends on a lone cyclist or a driver who has lost his way but served dozens of vacationers whose caravan is being inspected by police over the weekend. Families kill the time with an ice cream cone or a soft drink and the 20 police officers also have to eat.

“They informed me beforehand so that I could be prepared,” said De Bann while she served the customers.

Lorry drivers furious with tracking devices
Lorry drivers are furious with ‘nursery school’ policy, writes the free newspaper Metro.

Angry drivers who presented a petition signed by 3,000 colleagues to Traffic Minister Camiel Eurlings said they have been required to carry a digital tachograph which electronically records their movements, and have been swamped with fines, not to mention ridiculous situations.

"I have colleagues who have had to take out loans to pay the high fines,” said Willem Grunbauer, cross-border driver and spokesman for United Truckers.

The drivers want the authorities to interpret the rules in a more humane way.

For instance: "They are proposing a 10 percent margin on the maximum driving time, so that drivers are no longer forced to spend the night at a parking place while they are twenty kilometres from home."

The drivers complain that since they receive a hefty fine if they exceed the limit by a couple of minutes they sometimes take breaks or sleep in dangerous places.

The rules also do not take into account unexpected situations such as accidents, traffic jams or detours.

Two-thirds civil servants want to stop working before 62
The free newspaper Spits writes more than two-thirds of civil servants want to stop working before their 62nd birthday.

Only five percent want to work until 67, which is what the government is proposing.

Spits has printed a selection of responses from its readers: "I read civil servant and work in the same sentence. This must be some kind of hoax."

"If you want to stop working, you should start working." "These are the same civil servants who swamp us with reports saying that the rest of the country should work until the age of 67."

"Thinking of stopping in age categories is an old-fashioned principle for civil servants and loan slaves. They work to get a pension. I will work until I am really old. It will keep me young." 

Radio Netherlands / Frank Scimone / Expatica

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