Dutch news in brief, Thursday 25 September 2008
Find out what’s the latest news in the Netherlands in the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.25 September 2008
Dutch woman abducted in the Dutch Antilles
The Dutch Antilles island of Bonaire is in shock after a young Dutch woman went missing during the weekend.
AD, De Volkskrant and Trouw report on the abduction that bears similarities to the Holloway case that took place on Aruba. Twenty-four-year-old Marlies van der Kouwe disappeared after an evening at a popular bar on Saturday night. She was seen being dragged off her bicycle by one or two assailants on a scooter. Only her bicycle and flip-flops were found.
The people of Bonaire point out the differences from the Holloway case. Ms van der Kouwe was not drinking, while Ms Holloway was. Aruba is a densely populated, international resort, whereas Bonaire only has 15,000 residents and fewer tourists.
Ms van der Kouwe was on the island for three weeks where she was working at a chemist’s. Born on Curacao, she was no stranger to the Antilles. The local police force received reinforcements from Curacao and the Netherlands. The coastguard is also helping to search for the young woman.
The owner of the bar where she was last seen expects it won't be long before someone comes forward with information. "Our island is too small to live with such a terrible secret".
New integrity checks for businesses
The Dutch Justice Minister, Ernst Ballin, wants businesses to be monitored more closely in the future to prevent fraud and money laundering. AD reports that in January 2010 the Ministry will more fully screen any new owner or board member of a company to ensure they are not involved in illegal practices. If illegal information appears, the ministry will investigate the person further. The existing check is not thorough enough, the minister said.
Extreme animal rights group moves to The Netherlands
De Telegraaf warns that an extreme animal rights group has come to the Netherlands to target the stock exchange, financial institutions, pharmaceutical companies and shops that sell fur.
Stricter measures by British courts against the Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty group (SHAC) led the antivivisection group to move its activities to the Netherlands. The group is perhaps most notorious for its radical methods, such as digging up the body of a laboratory animal breeder’s relative. The new Dutch division announced a week of action against the stock exchange.
CDA MP Henk van Ormel is surprised that the group was given licences to demonstrate and asked for explanations from the ministers of agriculture and health. Health Minister Ab Klink says, "We are keeping an eye on the group and demonstrations are possible as long as activists keep within the law".
Rintje Ritsma, champion speed skater, retires
Champion Dutch speed skater Rintje Ritsma is retiring. De Telegraaf and AD print photos of the 38-year-old skating on rollerblades at the FlevOnIce rink in Biddinghuizen, his dog running alongside him. The four-time world champion, six-time European champion and Olympian medal winner is ambassador for the five kilometre outdoor circuit.
"I feel more at home in this natural environment", he explains when asked why he didn't announce his retirement at the Thialf stadium in Heerenveen. Instead Ritsma invited a small group to watch his last official round before crossing the finish line under a banner reading "Thanks, Rintje".
28th annual Utrecht Film Days begins
A 4-metre-high Golden Calf statue will stand outside the City Theatre in Utrecht during the 28th Utrecht Film Days, which opened on Thursday evening.
Trouw reports that the festival, which began in 1981, now attracts 100,000 Dutch film lovers. In 2007, largely thanks to blockbuster “Alles is Liefde” (Everything is Love), Dutch films earned a record market share in cinemas across the country.
After the festival, the Golden Calf may be melted down, festival manager Doreen Boonekamp says. "It certainly can't go in my office".
[Radio Netherlands / Nicola Chadwick / Expatica]