Dutch news in brief, Thursday 3 September 2009

3rd September 2009, Comments 0 comments

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

Second Dutch school loses subsidy
Trouw reports a second school is to lose part of its government subsidy as it contravenes legislation on basic educational requirements.

The school which admits students from for 4 to 18 year olds  has a policy of allowing students total freedom to choose what they do in class.

Deputy Education Minister Sharon Dijksma said this showed similar measures taken against an Islamic primary school earlier were not unfair.

Last week, Islamic school, As Siddieq, was penalised for failing in the fields of citizenship training and integration.

The paper quotes a former Amsterdam councillor who thinks action should have been taken 20 years ago. Jan de Jonge, who helped set up the school, is highly critical of how it has been run. He complained that women were not allowed on the board and that the board conducted its discussions in Arabic.
Pension cuts on the way
De Telegraaf reports the government is planning cuts in pensions. The additional money given for pensioners who have unemployed partners under 55 will be scrapped, with payments for unemployed partners under 65 being phased out altogether by 2015.
Pensions for those living outside the Netherlands are also being targeted. The extra subsidies for Dutch pensioners abroad, which were only introduced a few years ago, are to be axed.
Wilders influenced by colonial past
The AD says that anti-Islam populist MP Geert Wilders' character is coloured by his family's colonial past.

Anthropologist Lizzy van Leeuwen said Wilder, like many Dutch people whose families served in the Dutch East Indies, hankers after the past and has an aversion to change.
Van Leeuwen tells the paper that, in the 1920s, a fiercely conservative culture was prevalent among the Dutch in the colony which gained independence in 1945 as Indonesia.

 "Many who came to the Netherlands are still very conservative and remain bitter about the lost East Indies of yore. You can see the connection in the things Wilders says," she explained.
Police blamed for rave shooting
Most papers centre on criticism of the police operation surrounding a free party on a beach near Rotterdam nearly two weeks ago where the party turned into a riot and a young raver was shot dead.
Nrc.next says Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb is pointing the finger at the senior officer in direct command of the police operation. Two internal inquiries reveal the officer was informed that notorious Rotterdam hooligans intended to target the rave.

Despite the information, there were insufficient officers, and no riot police, to deal with the ensuing trouble.
Regional Chief of Police Dick Scoutens tells the paper: "Calls from the field regarding the presence of hooligans before and during the event also failed to enlist a proper response from the officer in charge".

In addition, when the officers present were cornered by a frenetic mob around midnight, the police communication and mobile phone systems failed to work properly. The officers fired warning shots in an attempt to disperse the crowd.
De Telegraaf, reports a voice of dissention about the affair.

Former Amsterdam police chief Eric Nordholt said Aboutaleb's job should also be on the line.

"It would be scandalous if a single police officer gets all the blame while those in ultimate charge are let off," he said.

Queen's Day should stay spontaneous
De Volkskrant reports on the failed attempt attack on the royal family during the Queen's Day celebrations in Apeldoorn.

In April, a driver drove at high speed hoping to crash his car into a bus carrying members of the royal family. His car missed the bus by a few seconds and ended up crashing into the crowd, leaving seven people dead.

Although there are recommendations that security round the day dedicated to celebrating the Dutch monarchy be stepped up, the reports call for the spontaneous and open character of the annual event to be maintained.

The paper quotes Crown Prince Willem-Alexander as saying he does not see the incident as a real attack, but rather as the act of someone who had lost his way in life.

De Volkskrant says the parliamentary debate on the issue is not likely to be a fiery affair.

Radio Netherlands / Mike Wilcox / Expatica

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