Dutch news in brief, Thursday 24 July 2008

24th July 2008, Comments 0 comments

Find out what’s the latest news in the Netherlands in the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.

24 July 2008

Majority of MP feels Serbia not ready for EU
De Volkskrant reports that a majority in parliament supports the cabinet position that Serbia is not yet ready to join the European Union.

According to the paper, the Netherlands is headed for a confrontation with other EU countries which believe that Serbia should be rewarded for the arrest of former Bosnian-Serb President Radovan Karadzic earlier this week.

The Dutch cabinet is demanding full cooperation with the Yugoslav Tribunal in The Hague, which means that former General Ratko Mladic must also be extradited.

The Netherlands can veto far-reaching EU cooperation with Serbia, and diplomats expect it will do so.

European Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn argues that Serbia is now entitled to the privileges pursuant to a cooperation treaty signed this spring, which includes trade benefits for the potential EU member state.

However, Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen insists on full cooperation with the Yugoslavia Tribunal before Serbia can reap the benefits of the treaty.

Verhagen also demands that Serbia introduce a witness protection programme to allow witnesses to freely testify at the tribunal in The Hague.

Smallest micro air vehicle
De Telegraaf has a picture of the world's smallest Micro Air Vehicle.

The Delfly Micro, which was developed by students at the Technical University in the town of Delft, has a wingspan of only 10 centimetres, weighs no more than three grams, can stay airborne for three minutes and has an on-board camera.

During its presentation at the university, the dragonfly-like craft flew around the auditorium and made pictures of the audience.

Micro Air Vehicles can be used for reconnaissance flights over inaccessible or dangerous terrain.

National Muslim Party to be formed soon
Trouw reports that plans for the formation of a national Muslim party are becoming more concrete.

Next month, former Green Left MP Mohammed Rabbae will resume talks intended to combine local initiatives.

"If the mainstream political parties consistently fail to deliver, we will do it ourselves".

Many voters of foreign extraction are disappointed in the major political parties, and especially in the politicians of Moroccan or Turkish descent intended to win the migrant vote.

Many Muslim voters blame these MPs for keeping silent when the film Fitna, produced by Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders, was released.

According to Trouw, Rabbae gives voice to a widespread sentiment when he says "Nobody cared about us; why didn't we hear from any of these politicians when their voters felt cornered, abandoned and mocked"?

The widespread discontent among migrant voters would appear heaven-sent for a Muslim party, but local parties fear that rapid growth could be a recipe for disaster, and point to the example of the former LPF party which went from nothing to 26 seats in parliament, only to fall apart within a few years.

However, Rabbae feels that a national movement will soon be formed.

"We need to work towards a Muslim party which operates within the Dutch framework and plays along with the game".

Hybrid cars gaining ground rapidly
Today's AD reports that hybrid cars are gaining ground at the expense of diesel-powered vehicles.

The paper writes that tax breaks are making "green driving" trendier than SUVs.

Figures from branch organisations show that government tax measures are having the intended effect of promoting hybrid cars which run both on electrical power and petrol.

The market share of these more environmentally friendly cars has quadrupled from 0.5 to 2 percent.

A branch organisation spokesperson says: "Since 1 January, drivers of leased cars with CO2 emissions below 110 gram per kilometre only have to add 14 percent of the vehicle's list price to their incomes, instead of 25".

At present, more than half of all hybrid cars sold are leased cars.

The branch organisation also reports rising sales of small, more energy-efficient cars. "These changes reflect environmental as well as financial concerns".

Nice week of sunshine hits Netherlands
On its front page, De Telegraaf features a picture of three young well-tanned girls walking down the beach in their bikinis.

The reason behind the photograph is that Dutch meteorologists are expecting at least a full week of warm summery weather with temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius.

However, a summer storm is expected to hit the country on Friday evening, but the weather is predicted to recover immediately afterwards.

According to De Telegraaf, the forecasts are sufficient reason to "Bring out your bikinis".

[Radio Netherlands / Georg Schreuder Hes / Expatica]

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