Dutch news in brief, Thursday 19 November 2009

19th November 2009, Comments 0 comments

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

MP resigns voluntarily after leaking confidential discussions
The papers reported the gaffe committed by MP Arend-Jan Boekestijn.

The MP from the conservative VVD party was the only politicians who talked to journalists about what Queen Beatrix said during a confidential discussion Wednesday afternoon with 50 members of parliament.

Confidential discussions between sovereign and MPs were stopped 10 years ago after what was said was leaked to de Volkskrant.

This time round, Boekstijn revealed the queen is worried about the hype culture in parliament, too many emergency debates and the gap dividing the voters and their political representatives.

de Volkskrant reported two and a half hours later after he talked to the media, Boekestijn handed in his resignation.

"I very much regret what I have done," he said, "and want to apologise to my colleague MPs and to Her Majesty," said the MP.

De Telegraaf quoted Mr Boekestijn as saying: "People can sometimes do really stupid things".

The paper also pointed out this is not the first time the MP has said stupid things. Earlier, he was caught on camera saying his boss, VVD party leader Mark Rutte, "lacked ideas". Just a few months later, he described Chinese people as "slit-eyed" on Twitter.

The paper said, despite Wednesday's incident, the queen intended to carry on with the confidential meetings with MPs.

Authorities target illegal adoption
de Volkskrant said the authorities are planning to get tough with people adopting children illegally from abroad.

Marie-Louise van Kleef, the director of the Child Protection Council, said illegal adoption is a growing problem.

"That's because fewer children are being offered for adoption from abroad," she explained. "And it's easy to look on the internet for a child."

The paper pointed out that, in the celebrated case of baby Donna in 2005, a Dutch couple who had bought the baby in Belgium were allowed to keep her. It was decided it was not in the best interests of the child to be removed from their care because she had already lived with them too long.

To prevent similar situations, the authorities have started putting illegally adopted children in foster homes immediately once their cases come to light.

Van Kleef pointed out that cases of illegal adoption have to be brought to court within two years and said would-be parents know this only too well and operate with this in mind.

Autumn storm causes chaos
The AD ran front-page pictures of the chaos caused by Wednesday's autumn storm that raced across the country.

In one photo, scaffolding that is four-storey-high was shown torn from a block of flats by the high winds in Hoogeveen. In another, the rear section of a juggernaut lorry hung precariously over a ditch having been blown from a road in Zwartsluis.

The paper reported not too much damage was done. Motorists suffered because of rush-hour delays, but some people appear to have enjoyed the dramatic weather. A man was pictured braving the lashing sand and wind as he jogged along the Hoek van Holland coast.

Radio Netherlands / Mike Wilcox / Expatica

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