Dutch news in brief, Tuesday 14 April 2009

14th April 2009, Comments 0 comments

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

Netherlands basks in Easter sunshine
The Dutch dailies swing back into action today after the Easter holiday weekend which AD declares as "the warmest Easter in years".

AD publishes an idyllic front-page photo of a little girl surrounded by cherry blossom while De Telegraaf snaps umbrella-wielding tourists amid the tulip fields but reports that the few spots of rain that fell were not enough to dampen anyone's spirits.

Temperatures soared to a glorious 22 degrees Celsius, well above the 12-degree norm and a stark contrast with the flurries of snow that accompanied last year's Easter festivities.

Despite fears that the economic crisis would put a damper on things the tourist sector was able to report a "good Easter". Business was brisk at zoos, theme parks and holiday parks. Only the furniture malls had cause to grumble, with figures well down on last year

NRC-next solves one of the more pressing mysteries of Easter: where do all the eggs come from? The answer it seems is a triumph of logistics with more eggs - a whopping 32 million - reaching the consumer directly instead of going into the production of biscuits, mayonnaise and shampoo.

Uruzgan risk comparable to holiday car crash: officer
AD's front page features a striking quote from Tom Middendorp, the commander of Dutch troops stationed in the Afghan province of Uruzgan who said: "The risk of being killed out here is comparable with dying in a holiday road accident in France".

His comment comes less than a week after the death of soldier Azdin Chadli and in response to a recent poll which indicated that four out of 10 Dutch soldiers think the Netherlands should end its mission in Afghanistan.

Brigadier Middendorp said he "does not recognise the impression" given by the survey that many Dutch servicemen and women think 19 Dutch fatalities in Afghanistan is too high a price to pay.

He acknowledges that the mission "takes a very heavy toll on people and equipment" but concludes "the risk we are taking is acceptable when you consider what we are doing for the people here, who have been through 30 years of war."

Is DIY adoption the answer to a long wait?
Pop queen Madonna is not the only prospective parent facing DIY adoption woes.

Trouw talks to a Dutch group defending the interests of people who want to make their own arrangements to adopt a child rather than go through official channels.

The huge waiting lists at official agencies here in the Netherlands have seen membership of the group from 400 to 1600 in two years: "Anyone who wants to adopt a child at present has to wait at least six and sometimes up to 10 years."

The alternative is to do all the work yourself and then get the stamp of approval from an official agency, according to Trouw’s report.

"The official route is like an all-in package holiday. The DIY route is like taking a map and setting out on your own journey."

The group argues it's not only quicker but also better "since along the way you find out a lot about the home country of the child you hope to adopt."

However, this is something Dutch Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin is keen to clamp down on, arguing that the checks are insufficient.

A number of representatives from the adoption world agree: "We only get EUR 1,000 to check up on a DIY adoption - for that kind of money you can't fly to Honolulu to see the situation for yourself. The most you can do is send a few letters."

It's not a view adoptive parents Marja and André Nieuwland share: "As a parent I want to be able to look my child in the eyes and say 'I checked everything out myself and made sure it was okay'."

The Nieuwlands will depart for Zambia to meet their adopted son or daughter.

Essent's fate in the hands of Party for the Animals
De Volkskrant reports that the massive takeover of Dutch energy company Essent by Germany's RWE is now at the mercy of a single representative of the Party for the Animals in the province of North Brabant.

The province is the largest shareholder in Essent, with a stake of no less than 30.8 percent. So, if the Germans can't win the province over, they can wave goodbye to hopes of obtaining 80 percent control of the company.

The provincial council (indirectly elected once every for years) is split right down the middle and the woman with the deciding vote is Birgit Verstappen, the Party for the Animal's sole representative in North Brabant.

She appears to be using her leverage for all it's worth: "In principle we are against the deal, but we're still thinking things over. If we can get something in return, then we'll support it."

Netherlands: the black sheep of the Internet security?
"The Netherlands is the black sheep of Internet security" according to today's Trouw.

A report by internet security firm Symantec puts the Netherlands in fourth place in the world rankings for "contaminated websites" behind the US, China and Ukraine.

The company looked at web-based attacks, such as sites that install 'malware' or malicious software on PCs in order to spread spam.

It turns out that last year no less than 19 percent of all compromised sites in Europe, the Middle East and Africa were running on Dutch servers.

A security specialist helps put the Netherlands' bad name in perspective. One of the incidents that contributed to the Dutch score concerned a hacker who posted protest messages on hundreds of Dutch websites in response to Dutch MP Geert Wilders' anti-Islam film Fitna.

"While not as bad as spreading criminal software, it still represents a violation of the websites' security," said the specialist.

Radio Netherlands / David Doherty / Expatica

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