Dutch news in brief, Tuesday 9 December 2008
Find out what’s the latest news in the Netherlands in the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.Dutch pension fund reserves 'wiped out'
Dutch who retire face lower pensions and higher premiums. For years Dutch workers have been pouring a portion of their salary into generous pension schemes and, until recently, early retirement schemes. Many people retired early and bought second homes in countries such as Spain.
On Monday, the Dutch Association of Industry-wide Pension Funds (VB) announced that its industries would not adjust their pension payments to meet the rising cost of living.
De Volkskrant reports that “Since the end of November, half of the ten largest industrial pension funds have not had the financial reserves to cover future commitments. These funds, which cover millions of employees and retired workers, will not raise the pension payments and will probably charge higher rates for their insurance premiums”.
Free public transport for Nijmegen residents over 65
AD informs us that public transport will be free for all residents of Nijmegen who are 65 years of age or older from 1 January 2009.
Nijmegen is the first town in the Netherlands to introduce the measure. For two years, the town had provided free transport on an experimental basis for two years. Seventy-five percent of those aged 65 years or older took advantage of the free bus service. They went out more often and became more active. The measure was particularly beneficial to people without a driver's licence.
Rotterdam, the second largest city in the Netherlands, is also planning to distribute free public transport cards to people aged 65 or older.
Amsterdam’s North-South metro line besieged by new problems
Amsterdam’s new North-South metro line is being built on poor quality dam walls, concludes expert.
The North-South line’s latest set back came in June and September when historical monuments started sinking as result of leaks in the tunnel walls
Professor Frits van Tol, who studied the leaks, came to the conclusion that the dam walls in the two locations are of a significantly poorer quality than those of the walls in the other metro stations under construction.
The construction of the metro is years behind schedule, and the delay is believed to cost of hundreds of millions of euros.
The city council says every effort will be made to prevent new setbacks.
Shell and Essent to construct CO2-deficient energy plants
Royal Dutch Shell and Essent, one of the largest limited liability energy companies in the Netherlands, have decided to build two gas-powered plants which will save the CO2 produced by coal-gassing plants.
The power station will produce 1,000 megawatts in electric energy. Shell and Essent hope the plant will be the first in a series of 12 experimental projects throughout Europe.
[Radio Netherlands / Frank Scimone / Expatica]