Dutch news in brief, Tuesday 19 May 2009

19th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

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

Schiphol boss not aiming for highest possible return
In an interview with de Volkskrant, the new director of Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, Jos Nijhuis, said achieving the highest possible return is not top of his list.

Instead, the cornerstone of his management policies will be the idea of Schiphol as the country's gateway to the world, a public utility serving the community.
In a breaking away from previous Schiphol management policy, Nijhuis said he is not pushing for the privatisation of the airport.

He is adamantly against privatising the airport "not because the political and social climate is not behind it," but because he just doesn’t believe in it.

"Schiphol's social function is best served by the government being the most important shareholder," he said.
Christian school gay suspension illegal
Trouw says the suspension of a gay male teacher by a Protestant Christian primary school in Emst is most probably illegal.

The teacher from a small town in the east of the Netherlands told colleagues in April he planned to be open about his relationship with another man.

The school's management suspended him on the basis that "choosing that form of relationship was at odds with the principles and aims of the school which the teacher had accepted".
However, Trouw quotes law professor Paul Zoontjens: "It looks very much like the teacher has to go simply because he has a homosexual relationship and that is against the Equal Treatment Act."

However, he thinks there may be a case for dismissal if the man begins to propagate “his ideas” within the school.

'No to Europe' poll candidate
Nrc.next runs a profile of the right-wing Freedom Party's leading candidate in June's European elections. Barry Madlener shines away from intellectual debate preferring to keep the party's European message simple. He describes his aims in the European parliament as to ensure that "the parliament has less authority".

"The Netherlands should decide for itself what sort of legislation it has," said Madlener.

An estate agent by profession, Madlener started his political life as a Rotterdam councillor for the populist Pim Fortuyn's List party, the LPF.

His colleagues describe him as an amiable man who is doing his best to appear hard to fit in with the Freedom Party's tougher image. He is apparently not as keen on some of the party's leader Geert Wilders’ ideologies such as mass immigration, the growing influence of Islam in the West and integration.
Prince declines Dalai Lama invitation
The AD reports Crown Prince Willem-Alexander turned down an invitation to join in a forum with the Dalai Lama to discuss water management on the Tibetan plateau.

The Tibetan spiritual leader is due for a visit in the Netherlands in June.

The official explanation blames previous engagements on the day in question: "The prince has let it be known that he will not be able to attend the discussion."
The committee organising the Dalai Lama's visit is disappointed that the royal family is showing so little interest in meeting him. It is pointed out that only one junior member of the family is attending a discussion with the Dalai Lama.

On previous Dutch visits he has met Prince Bernhard and Princess Juliana and, in 1999 with Prince Willem-Alexander.

MP's anger at school finals 'leftwing' question
National secondary school final examinations started this week and a couple of papers publish pictures of students sitting at makeshift desks in school gyms, staring hard at the questions in front of them.

About 53,000 youngsters who took Monday's general secondary Dutch language exam read a text taken from the VVD's website in question 21.

The text was said to display "a dismissive and possibly patronising attitude to people claiming social security benefits". Examinees were asked to choose from six possible answers all of which endorsed the statement.

De Telegraaf reports the conservative VVD party is furious about what it calls leftwing exam papers.

"Tens of thousands of students brainwashed by leftist talk. Outrageous," said VVD MP Ineke Dezentjé.
Radio Netherlands / Mike Wilcox / Expatica

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