Dutch news in brief, Tuesday 29 July 2008
Find out what’s the latest news in the Netherlands in the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.29 July 2008
Dutch people living longer
All of today's papers report that Dutch people are living longer.
"We're living longer thanks to the milder winters" headlines AD above photo of an elderly woman sitting behind her geraniums.
Trouw's headline tells us, “Men are catching up" and De Telegraaf has a rather blunt, "we're all going to get older".
According to the latest figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), life expectancy for women has risen to 82.3 years and that of men has risen to 78 years.
Trouw writes that male life expectancy has increased by 5.5 years since 1980 but female life expectancy increased by just 3.1 years over the same period.
The paper interviews CBS demographer Jan Latten who says that the difference in life expectancy is getting smaller because more men are adopting a healthier lifestyle. However, Latten adds”: "Women are the slightly stronger sex".
The CBS demographer also pops up in De Volkskrant, who quotes him as saying that the difference in life expectancy begins at birth. Latten says more baby boys die shortly after birth, more males die from accidents during childhood and puberty and more young men die in traffic accidents.
According to the CBS demographer, "males are far more reckless, risky behaviour is far more common among young men than young women". He adds: "suicide rates are higher among males than females".
AD says we are living longer because of the milder winters and interviews several people over the age of 60 to discover the secret of longevity.
One 69-year-old said her secret was "going to bed on time and not eating pizza", while an 82-year-old claimed that "lots of exercise and lots of fruit" was the secret.
According to one elderly gent, the way to reach a ripe old age is to always "have a drink and a cigar at the right moment".
Antilles' homosexuals cancel place in gay pride
De Volkskrant's front page reads "No Gay pride parade for lesbians and gays from the Antilles" above the report that gay men and lesbians from the Antilles have been cancelling their place in a boat after the Antilles' public health minister wrote a homophobic letter to a local paper.
The organiser of the Antilles pride boat said that about 50 people had registered to take part in the parade but that the effect of the public health minister's homophobic letter was felt immediately: "cancellations came one after the other".
She adds: "News about the anti-homo comments travelled through the community really quickly. It's still an enormous taboo and people were just too scared. If you're recognised by people on the islands, it doesn't matter if you live in the Netherlands, because your whole family will suffer".
Shop theft up
"Shop theft on the increase,” bellows the front page of the populist De Telegraaf above a report that damage caused by shoplifting, fraud, vandalism, break-ins and hold-ups increased the first time in years.
According to the Dutch Small Business Association, damages amounted to EUR 645 million in 2007 and the number of robberies and break-ins also increased.
According to the association, opening the Dutch borders to East European countries, more sophisticated methods of breaking in and poor policing all contribute to the increase. The association says a wave of break-ins is sweeping across the Netherlands at the moment and the increase in criminality is of grave concern.
Unmarried mothers on the rise
According to another report released Monday by Statistics Netherlands, four out of every 10 babies born in the Netherlands in 2007 were born to unmarried, cohabiting partners.
Trouw tells us that in 1990, that number was just one in 10.
The Protestant daily adds that for the first time, "50 percent of women giving birth to their first child were unmarried" and that more and more couples are deciding not to get married even though they have children.
The CBS says the increase is due to an increase in the number of people who decide to live together without the benefit of marriage.
NRC.next writes that 90 percent of women who have a child before their 20th birthday were unmarried, while De Volkskrant adds that in the early 1990s, that figure was just 40 percent.
Owls come back to Netherlands after 30 years
A story that made into all of today's paper is that the Boreal or Tengmalm's owl is making a comeback in the Netherlands after 30-year absence.
All of the papers feature photographs of the owl, as it is quite small and cute. The National Forestry Commission found a nest in June with four eggs and two of the hatchlings survived.
According to the Forestry Commission, "the boreal owl is far more common in Germany but they've had a bad mouse year and the owls have migrated to the Netherlands".
[Radio Netherlands / Jacqueline Carver / Expatica]