Dutch news in brief, Thursday 10 December 2009
Read the roundup of today's Dutch press from Radio Netherlands.Government slow to act in Q-fever outbreak
Many papers printed photos of cute-looking white goats on their front pages in response to the government's decision to slaughter tens of thousands of pregnant goats infected with Q-fever.
The measure, which was announced Wednesday by Dutch ministers for health and agriculture, Ab Klink and Gerda Verburg, aims to bring down the number of people infected with Q-fever human cases with the disease, reported AD.
Fifty-five Dutch farms are infected with the coxiella burnetti bacteria, most of them in the southern province of Brabant. Altogether 2,300 people have contracted the disease and six have died.
Q-fever causes spontaneous abortions in pregnant goats, releasing billions of bacteria into the air. Milk, urine and faeces also carry the bacteria which can survive for years in the ground.
The government has been accused of putting the interests of farmers before that of public health in the “world’s biggest outbreak of the disease”.
A television documentary programme revealed on Sunday that the government had failed to act to prevent the spread of the disease among humans.
Currently, names of the infected farms have been withheld for privacy reasons, but Minister Verburg promised to publish the locations of infected farms.
nrc.next pinpointed one contaminated farm which is responsible for 11 percent of the human cases.
In De Telegraaf, Minister Verburg dismisses rumours that the health minister was unable to get hold of her on Monday to announce the measures earlier.
No heads roll after damning Rotterdam report
Trouw made no effort to hide its distain at the reaction of the Rotterdam authorities to Wednesday’s damning 160-page report on their failure to prevent a beach party turning into a riot in August.
In spite of a catalogue of failures on the part of the authorities, both Police Chief Aad Meijboom and Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb preferred to stress the role of the hooligans on that fatal night which culminated in the death of a 19-year-old man.
Mayor Aboutaleb asked: “Why do large groups of hooligans under the influence of drugs and alcohol use violence against the police and emergency services?” The death of a young man is especially embarrassing for Rotterdam as the city declared itself the European Youth Capital this year.
The Institute for Security and Crisis Management (COT) report said information that hooligans were planning to disrupt the Sunset Grooves beach party was not passed on to police superiors. As a result, young, inexperienced officers were deployed, no riot police were put on alert and the response to developments on the scene was inadequate.
The 45 police officers at the event “had to fight for their lives” and “were on their own” against a couple of hundred hooligans.
In AD, the mayor and the police chief said they are not planning to resign.
The report will be debated by Rotterdam council next week.
Minister wants underage asylum seekers to be sent back
De Telegraaf informed underage asylum seekers may be sent straight back to their own countries in the future.
The deputy Justice Minister Nebahat Albayrak is expected to present new stricter policies on Thursday.
At present, underage asylum seekers are given shelter until they reach the age of 18, then they are expected to leave the country of their own accord.
However, dozens of them end up on the streets or in the hands of people traffickers.
The minister wants to put an end to them and send them back or keep them in detention to stop them from vanishing before they are deported.
Many children say they have no family, but these claims are contradicted by data from the International Organisation for Migration.
The paper reported that two shelters built in Congo and Angola to look after orphaned minors who have been sent back remain practically empty after relatives arrive to pick them up “without batting an eyelid”.
Princess Màxima attends lessons on money
While the Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander is fast running up a reputation as a member of the jet-set, his wife Princess Màxima is limiting the damage by sitting in on a lesson teaching children about debt at a secondary school near the eastern city of Arnhem.
de Volkskrant printed a photo of the princess talking to girls during a lesson on the computer called Enough money? When the girls work out how much interest they have to pay on a debt, the princess said: “See what I mean? Every year it goes up.”
Recent research revealed children often display risky behaviour when dealing with their finances by spending a lot, saving little and betting money.
Before, little attention is paid to financial education at schools. Now, computer lessons have been developed to teach the children to recognise misleading advertising, and give them an insight into financial risks.
The teacher said: “In the old days when your pocket money ran out, you couldn’t buy anything, but nowadays parents, who have grown up with the same affluence, don’t teach their children to be cautious.”
World’s oldest playgirl presents photo shoot
AD reported on 60-year-old Dutch singer Patricia Paay who proudly presented her nude photo shoot in the famous men’s glossy on Thursday.
The oldest model to appear in Playboy said: “There is nothing wrong with my bust.”
According to the paper, the controversy surrounding the mature model generated more publicity the famous young Dutch-Croatian centrefold Tatjana Simić, no doubt helped by a notorious divorce and numerous vicious reactions. The event was even attended by Berlusconi’s TV channel Rai Uno.
The singer admitted she was most nervous about showing her backside, but insisted her pictures were not photoshopped.
A number of Dutch television personalities call the pictures “daring and good”.
However, De Telegraaf reported that comedian Theo Maassen called Paay “a pitiful attention-seeker” in a chat show.
Radio Netherlands / Nicola Chadwick / Expatica