Dutch news in brief, Tuesday 16 September 2008
Find out what’s the latest news in the Netherlands in the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.16 September 2008
Moroccan youths in the news
Nearly all the papers are filled with news concerning problematic Moroccan youths, and measures which should be taken to deal with repeated acts of vandalism and violence.
Bus driver threatened with knife
AD publishes a picture of an ambulance crew on its front page and a picture of an unused bus stop in Gouda on the second and third page.
Bus drivers in Gouda have decided to avoid the Oosterwei neighbourhood and are using an alternative route, following an incident last week where some youths tried to rob a bus driver of change by placing a knife to his throat.
De Volkskrant writes that the website of the right-wing newspaper De Telegraaf reported on Monday on a proposal by populist politician Geert Wilders to send the army to the Gouda neighbourhood. De Volkskrant reports that by noon the site had already received nearly a thousand - mostly favourable - reactions.
According to an editorial in De Telegraaf: "The soldiers serving on the front in Dutch society have had it up to here. Ambulance crew, police officers and bus drivers refuse to be the targets of violence. They are fed up with being exposed to the aggressive behaviour of certain rowdy Moroccan youths and other riff-raff."
Ambulance crew threatened with death
In a separate incident in early September, there was an outcry after an ambulance crew in Amsterdam were besieged by a group of Moroccan youths, one of whom threatened to kill one member of the crew. Ambulance workers then went on strike.
Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen sparked a debate when he said Moroccan youths were over-represented in violent incidents.
Tuesday's Volkskrant interviews Mohammed Mohandis, 23, who was elected a town councillor for Gouda when he was just 20. One of the few councillors born in Gouda, Mohandis expresses frustration at the fact that people of Moroccan origin "always have to prove themselves" and "make excuses for something with which they have nothing to do".
Cameras are not real protection
One of the solutions suggested by politicians is to place cameras in ambulances and buses.
However, AD's front-page headline reads: "Real protection needed, not cameras".
The paper cites a study by the British auditor's office which found that "it is improbable that camera surveillance offers any real feeling of security to ambulance crews, since an attack usually lasts only seven seconds, and an injury takes place in the first three seconds."
The paper noted that the trade union federation FNV has blamed an increase in violent incidents on trains this year to a policy of replacing conductors with cameras.
A mouthful of police abbreviations
A study conducted by the Police Officer's Periodical has found that Amsterdam police are overwhelmed with abbreviations. The list of abbreviations used by the department is 61 pages long.
De Telegraaf writes that some abbreviations used while speaking with fellow officers do not present a problem, such as lupa for lunch package, or dbo, which means pointlessly walking around the block.
However, not only does the department use a lot of abbreviations, but it changes names all the time. Traffic police are now known as Dienst Controle Infrastructuur Verkeer, or Service for Controlling Traffic Infrastructure.
Greenpeace calls for boycott of Eon power company
The environmental organisation Greenpeace says it will call for a boycott of the Eon power company if it goes ahead with plans to build eight coal-fuelled power stations in Europe.
On Monday, Greenpeace announced that Eon had won its award for dirtiest energy supplier. Greenpeace then sent a group of activists to Eon's office in Eindhoven, who dumped a pile of coal in front of the building.
The company told de Volkskrant that the chances of Eon giving in to one of Greenpeace's demands - that it end construction of its planned coal-fuelled power plant near Rotterdam - are zero.
A spokesperson for Eon admitted that in the Netherlands the company is "relatively dirty". "But in a European context, we are investing billions in sustainable energy production." Eon announced that it will burn the coal, which Greenpeace dumped in front of its office at its power station near Rotterdam.
Patient received EUR 250 suspended fine for growing weed
The free newspaper De Pers writes that today the Dutch Supreme Court will rule on the case of Wim Moorlag, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and has been growing his own marijuana since 1995 because it alleviates the symptoms of the disease.
After a neighbour complained, Mr Moorlag had to go to court, where he received a EUR 250 suspended fine. He says he would rather grow his medicine himself, since the quality of the marijuana available at the pharmacy leaves much to be desired.
Moorlag hopes that after today all the fuss will be over. "I'd rather have had relief from eating a carrot. Then there wouldn't have been all this commotion."
[Radio Netherlands / Frank Scimone / Expatica]