Dutch news in brief, Monday 9 November 2009
Read the roundup of today's Dutch press from Radio Netherlands.Dutch suspicious about swine flu vaccine
de Volkskrant reported the “unstoppable flood of emails on the alleged toxicity of the A(H1N1) vaccine” and how action group ‘de spuit blijft eruit’ (the needle stays out) distributed postcards with traffic prohibition signs covered in Mexican hats.
On the prikmaarlek.nl (jab me full of holes) website, visitors can sign a ‘declaration of resistance’, while in the town of Ommen a report has been filed of an intended crime against life.
Since the start of the vaccination campaign, flu experts, politicians and media workers have been flooded with extremely urgent emails full of ‘shocking information’ allegedly proving that there is a deliberate campaign to hush up the fact that the (A)H1N1 vaccine is toxic.
Many of the emails point to international websites about similar alleged cover-ups involving vaccines against other infectious diseases.
Some sites say the vaccine includes a nano-chip which would turn citizens into slaves while others say the World Health Organisation allegedly forms part of an international crime syndicate out to decimate the global population through a mass vaccination programme.
Virology Professor Louis Kroes of the Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum (Leiden University Hospital) said he was deeply concerned about the emails. He hoped most rational people would disregard the wild conspiracy theories, but at the same time saw how the ‘absurd allegations’ make people doubt whether they should get vaccinated.
“I’m astounded by the large number of questions I have received from fellow professors, friends and relatives who all wanted to know whether it was wise to get vaccinated.”
He added: “This flu is much more dangerous than any side effect whatsoever. If you are in a high-risk group vaccination is always sensible”
The exact components of the vaccines can be found on the website of the European registration authority Emea.
National ‘football scum’ register for all amateur players
Players of amateur clubs who suspended for a year or more after misbehaving in or near the pitch will soon be included on the ‘lijst landelijk voetbalverbod’ (national football ban register), reported the AD.
The measure is intended to make it impossible for ‘football scum’ (or voetbaltuig in Dutch) to play anywhere in the Netherlands during their suspension.
At present, players who are suspended by their clubs after serious misbehaviour often join another club and keep on playing.
The new measure is the latest initiative implemented by the KNVB (Royal Dutch Football Union) to eradicate fights, threats and assaults on amateur football fields. The union regularly sends observers to clubs where things often get out of hand, and clubs and teams are quickly removed from the national competition if they fail to improve.
Each year, about 200 referees are assaulted and 2,700 matches broken off.
Over the weekend, a match between Simonshaven and Vlotbrug in the south-western town of Hellevoetsluis got out of hand. Shortly after the start of the match, a fight broke out in which a player was pushed to the ground and kicked and beaten. He broke his nose and arm and had to be admitted to hospital. A 28-year old player of the Simonshaven 6 team has been arrested.
In October, the entire team of football club VV Gestel A1 was arrested after beating up a player of the opposing team.
In August, the association of referees in the eastern region of Twente refused to send referees to matches including the club Enschedese Boys, after they beat up a referee.
Many football club executives blamed much of the violence on the poor quality of the referees. The KNVB director for amateur football Ruud Bruijnis admitted part of the problem lies with the 17,000 referees in amateur football: “Forty percent have taken a course. We have the ambitious plan to increase the percentage to 100 in the coming years.”
Wrong decisions not grounds for dismissal: Supreme Court president
Hoge Raad (Supreme Court) President Geert Corstens has stepped up to say wrong decisions could never be grounds for the dismissal of judges, reported De Pers.
Corstens joined the debate sparked by the escape of a convicted people trafficker who was granted prison leave to visit his newborn child. The court responsible for the decision admitted its mistake, leading to calls in parliament for the dismissal of blundering judges.
However, the president of the Hoge Raad rejected these calls and said: “When a judge is completely dysfunctional, fails to appear at court sessions or drives under the influence, sanctions will be imposed. Wrong decisions can never be grounds for dismissal. That’s what appeals and annulments are for.”
According to Corstens, the question was: Who would rule on a judge’s mistake and would judges still feel free to pass rulings? He also opposed to judges being sacked when they themselves admitted to having made a mistake:
“As a judge, I would have to constantly take into consideration: Oh, well, this might just turn out to be a wrong decision. It would make me very cautious and spell the end of the independent administration of justice.”
Corstens believed the judiciary was capable of monitoring the quality of its judges, which sometimes included requests for external advice. “Eventually, it is up to the judiciary to take action. There should be no pressure on the judge.”
Psychologist examines DNA unknown show
In nrc.next, psychologist Martine Delfos took a long, hard and critical look at the latest show produced by Christian broadcasting corporation NCRV.
The show, DNA Unknown, uses DNA testing to find out whether the participants’ relatives are really their relatives.
According to Delfos, television is slowly dying because most young people spend most of their time on the internet instead of watching TV. The viewing public is getting older and older and television producers must go all out to attract viewers.
The producers tell their audience that they needn’t worry because the participants are volunteers who agreed to everything that’s being broadcast. She argued DNA Unknown was another example of how participants could not fully grasp the consequences of what they have agreed to and did not know how to stop it.
However, Delfos said based on her professional experience, many people were unaware of what they agree to.
In practice, most people need years to come to terms with the fact that the man who raised them is not their real father.
Delfos said that condensing the process into a format intended to amuse an audience can cause real damage to those involved.
“How strong do you have to be to say no to DNA testing? How strong do you have to be to say no to television?” she said.
According to the psychologist, the details of the body language and the intonation of the presenter’s voice show that it’s the viewers who occupy centre stage, not the participants.
Dutch speedskaters naturalised as Kazakh citizens
Trouw’s weekend edition featured a photograph of five Dutch speed skaters who were naturalised as Kazakh citizens in a bid to win qualifications for the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
The five marathon skaters – Christijn Groeneveld, Jorrit Bergsma, Arjan Stroetinga, Robert Bovenhuis and Rob Hadders – mistakenly believed they would be allowed to keep their Dutch nationality as well.
Under Dutch law, any citizen who voluntarily takes on a different nationality loses his Dutch citizenship.
The immigration authorities have collected documents from the Dutch skating union showing they are staying in the Netherlands illegally. The documents were sent to the union by the Kazakh authorities. If proven legitimate, the five skaters will have to apply for a temporary residence permit or else leave the country.
Radio Netherlands / Georg Schreuder Hes / Expatica