Dutch news in brief, Monday 28 September 2009

28th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

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

Bribery hits the Netherlands
De Volkskrant reports of what it describes as the biggest Dutch fraud case ever.
The key defendant, Van V, is suspected of making at least EUR 64 million from construction contracts clinched after huge bribes had changed hands.

He has admitted handing over millions to contacts including two former directors of the pension fund at Philips.

The paper says it saw a fax in which he admits "handing over gifts and giving undertakings on a very regular basis" to business partners.

"I had to do it. It would not have been possible to do business with the pension fund otherwise," he is reported to have said.

He is not the only person to have talked to the police. The paper tells us suspects including a former Philips pension fund boss and an architect made earlier confessions. The first witnesses in the case are due to start giving evidence in court in November.

Young PVV voters want provocation
Nrc.next says opinion polls indicate that, if an election were to be held now, the far-right PVV (Freedom Party) would become the second largest party in parliament.

The paper poses the question: what do PVV voters under 35 want?

PVV leader Geert Wilders' recent proposal for a tax on the Islamic veil is not viewed as serious by the young PVV voters interviewed.

"I think he only said it to be provocative, but I think that's really good," said the owner of a riding school.

The paper says Wilders' provocative line goes down well with his young supporters. They argue it makes people think about the issues and want to vote.

His straight-talking approach is also popular. They hope it will break the traditional, and much touted, Dutch policy of reaching compromises on problem issues.
In their opinions, crime and "the problems of immigrants and Muslims" demand action, not compromise.

MPs furious about police communication failure
De Telegraaf covers MPs' anger over the failure of the C2000 communication system for the police and emergency services in over 60 areas of the country. These include trouble hot spots such as nuclear power stations and football stadiums.

The mass-circulation daily quotes one angry MP: "There aren't enough antenna masts; there are problems inside buildings… It has been going on for years and the minister is going to have to get her arse into gear on this."
Communication problems were partly to blame for the situation in which police shot a young man dead during the recent rioting at an open-air rave party in Hook of Holland.

A spokesman for Interior Minister Guusje ter Horst said contact is only being lost for a few seconds at a time in the problem areas.

Meanwhile, the authorities are setting up more antennas to iron out the communication problems more quickly.

Football fans furious over huge plastic partitions
AD devotes part of its front page to reporting the fury of Feyenoord fans at the Rotterdam club's away match in Breda on Sunday.

Their enjoyment of Feyenoord's victory against NAC was ruined because their view was blocked by huge plastic partitions placed to prevent them from causing trouble.

The partitions are a recent innovation at the Breda stadium and are designed to stop rival groups of fans seeing and taunting each other. Nets have also been set up to prevent missiles thrown by fans reaching the pitch.

"I sat there just looking at myself reflected back by that shiny partition," said one irritated fan.

Feyenoord trainer Mario Been was so angry that he wanted the match postponed. "But our board said we had to go on with it," he fumed. 

Radio Netherlands / Mike Wilcox / Expatica

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