Dutch news in brief, Tuesday 25 August 2008

25th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

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

Rotterdam to ban free dance festivals
Most newspapers report on a decision by Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb to ban all major free dance festivals for two years.

The measure follows a shooting spree at the Sunset Grooves dance festival on Saturday in which 19-year-old Robby van der Leeden was shot dead and six other people were injured.

According to the Rotterdam-based AD: "It is not yet clear what sparked the outburst. Visitors saw men waving guns all of a sudden, but it is not clear if all of them were undercover agents. The justice department says it is also not clear who fired the dozens of shots."

The paper reports of two accounts; one which states that undercover agents became involved when they saw a member of one of two rival groups draw a gun and another that says the undercover agents were besieged by a gang of youths who recognised them.

Trouw says police received information that a group of between 70 and 80 'hooligans' would attend the dance festival and decided to send a special team of undercover agents.

In an interview with AD, a friend of Van der Leeden said he was never involved in fights and was not a hooligan.

In an editorial, NRC Handelsblad writes the presence of police at large festivals can have a preventive effect but in this instance the pressure was too great.

The paper also compares the free Rotterdam dance festival to the Lowlands Festival, where there were no major incidents and 55,000 visitors paid an entrance fee to attend the event.

Harder for older workers to find jobs
AD carries an interview with businesswoman Nel Peijffers (36), who in 2007 sold her recruitment agency to set up a consultancy to promote "diversity at the workplace".

Peijffers told AD that despite a law which forbids discrimination against older workers, nothing has changed. She conducted a survey and found that older workers take five months longer to find a job and must write five times as many applications.

"Competent people receive the most daft excuses when they are told why they have not been hired. For instance, that they have too little experience. Then the job goes to a younger person who really has little experience. This is done not only by businesses, but also by the same government which is asking us to work until we are 67."

She hopes that unions and employers will realise what situation they will get themselves into if they keep focusing on "young and dynamic" workers.

Peijffers said if nothing is done about the unemployed people aged 50 and above, they will be out of work for too long and in 2012 an historic number of people will be pensioned off.

GreenLeft party wants to legalise sale of cannabis
The GreenLeft party in Amsterdam has made regulating the growth and sale of marijuana to coffee shops one of the issues in its campaign for next year’s municipal election.

Metro interviewed the party’s chair in Amsterdam, Marieke van Doorninck, who said that legalising the sale of cannabis and other drugs would benefit consumer.

One of the conditions, however, is that the marijuana has to be cultivated in an ecologically-friendly manner.

The GreenLeft party also condemned the "zero-tolerance" policy at dance festivals. The "intimidating” controls create a "grim atmosphere instead of a party feeling".
Moreover, partygoers are more inclined to take a lot of pills before attending the festivals because of the controls. "This is dangerous as far as one’s health is concerned."

The party also wants the Amsterdam town council to reverse a recent decision to close down shops which sell magic mushrooms.

Lord, save our Evangelical Broadcast!
De Telegraaf reports on protests by members of Evangelical Broadcasting (EO), the country’s public broadcasting corporation for the religiously devote.

A picture accompanying the article shows a group of believers in deep prayer near the Hilversum communications tower, right next to Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

Many EO members are up in arms about the "wrong kind of" programming, which instead of reaching believers is, in their opinion, tending to lead them astray.

For instance, one of the EO’s most well-known presenters has been accused of "flirting with Darwinism". To the shock of many of the devoted, he announced that he was sorry to have always told his children and viewers that the world was created in six days.

Another controversy arose when, without the knowledge of the EO, a young male presenter Arie Boomsma appeared half-naked in a sexy pose for a glossy magazine called L’Homo.

Boomsma, who was temporarily suspended, has also come up with a controversial programme made by non-believing cabaret artists called 'Man is Walking on the Water…'

Radio Netherlands / Frank Scimone / Expatica

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