Dutch news in brief, Tuesday 18 November 2008

18th November 2008, Comments 0 comments

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

18 November 2008

Punishment for venues boycotting the smoking ban
"Cafés boycotting smoking ban will be closed! Tough measures from health minister" states the front-page headline in De Telegraaf. De Volkskrant’s front page reads "Severe measures against smoking" and AD prints "Minister threatens rebellious bar owners with closure".

De Volkskrant writes that the health and justice ministers decided that infringement of the anti-smoking law will now be prosecuted as an economic crime, as bars and cafés that allow patrons to smoke are guilty of unfair competition.

The actual amount is still undecided, but the fine will be higher than the current EUR 300 for a first offence. Punishment could also lead to the temporary closure of responsible venues. The paper quotes the health minister, "In this country, the laws have to be obeyed and they have to be obeyed by everyone."

Higher education improves health
Trouw reports that a study by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) revealed that higher education is beneficial to health and lifespan. According to the CBS investigation, men who are born now and attend university are predicted to live an average of seven years longer than their counterparts who do not finish high school. The CBS investigation predicted a six-year advantage for highly-educated women.

The CBS report also says that highly-educated people stay healthy longer. De Volkskrant writes that men who only finished junior school will enjoy 50 years of good health, compared to 69 years of good health for university graduates.

According to de Volkskrant, earlier studies already revealed the cause of the difference: men with a minimal education usually perform physical labour, smoke and drink more and have a poor diet.

One out of 10 hate crimes directed against gays
The Dutch interior and justice ministries say police recorded 150 instances of violence against lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) during the first six months of 2008. AD says police recorded a total of 1,512 incidents of discrimination, including verbal and physical abuse, in the first six months of 2008. According to AD, the ministries were surprised that one in 10 cases of verbal or physical abuse were directed against LGBT people.

NRC.next reports that the majority of the alleged culprits, 86 percent, were native Dutch people. The paper notes that 2008 is the first year police registered the number of physical and verbal acts of violence motivated by race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation, so the number of incidents, also known as hate crimes, cannot be compared to previous years.

More students consider health care jobs

AD reports that the 2008 National Career Monitor revealed an increase in the number of secondary school pupils considering a career as a health care professional.

The main reasons for choosing health care are "helping people" and wanting to "do something useful". The Career Monitor reports a marked decrease in the number of students considering careers in ICT, banking, insurance and accountancy.

The survey reports that the majority of students rate a pleasant working atmosphere as the most important factor in choosing a career, closely followed by wanting to be proud of one’s work.

Parking spaces in Utrecht’s prostitution zone too small for SUVs

AD reports that an investigation by Utrecht's municipal health service (GG & GD) revealed that SUVs and other luxury automobiles are too big to easily fit into the parking spaces in the city's special outdoor prostitution zone. The area, where prostitutes and their clients meet to complete their transaction, was built in 1986, long before SUVs were popular in the Netherlands.  It is enclosed on three sides by a wall that allows the passenger door, but not the driver's door, to be opened.

GG & GD spokesperson Ingrid van Amelsfort says the investigation revealed that the size of the parking spaces is becoming a problem for prostitutes, since "clients take much longer to park their vehicles, and this reduces the number of clients that a prostitute can see in an evening."

Ms Amelsfort adds that it is not known whether any damage has been done to clients' vehicles, noting "most people would not report damage caused by trying to squeeze a large vehicle into a prostitutes’ workspace to an insurance company".

[Radio Netherlands / Jacqueline Carver / Expatica]

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