Dutch news in brief, Wednesday 2 December 2009
Read the roundup of today's Dutch press from Radio Netherlands.Dutch cultural icon dead
Wednesday’s s front pages publish photos of Ramses Shaffy, the Dutch singer and actor who died Tuesday at the age of 76.
While most photographs featured Shaffy as an old man worn down by too much alcohol, we can also see "the Netherlands' only chansonnier" as a young icon of the popular cultural scene, a striking flower-power figure in the 1960s.
De Telegraaf devoted a whole inside page to “the dismay caused by the flamboyant Amsterdammer's death”. Under the headline "Addicted to life", the paper printed a quote from 1995: "It's a wonder I'm still sitting here, with all the cigarettes, drink and I don't know what else".
The paper said he lived life to the full and that he has once said: "The blood that pumps though my body screams out for adventure!"
Under the headline "Ramses last glass", the paper reported of his last visit to his favourite restaurant, a short stroll from the Amsterdam nursing home where he ended his days.
"He came in around 5 or 6 [...] and sometimes stayed till very late. He drank red wine or sambuca. And also ate something," said the restaurant owner.
Fans will hold a vigil at the place where Shaffy moored his houseboat in the heady days of the 1970s.
The organiser recalled that Shaffy started out life in Amsterdam as a foster child: "I want to make the statement that all kids, even those who don't look like they have many chances, can grow into monumental people".
MPs push for sale of earplugs in bars and discos
MPs from the three parties in the ruling coalition are pushing for less loud music in discos, bars and at pop concerts, said AD.
The move followed research showing four in 10 young people suffer from hearing loss because they listen to loud music.
Christian Democrat MP Sabine Uitslag, who sings with a rock band, wants something done to protect people.
"The young don't realise how dangerous it is. Hearing damage doesn't go away," she warned.
The MP wanted organisers of all kinds of music venues to act more responsibly on the issue and more information on the dangers of loud music to be made available.
"And, next to the condom machine in toilets, there should also be a dispenser where you can get cool-looking earplugs," she argued.
It remains to be seen whether there would be many takers for the earplugs, cool or not. Apparently, few young people take any notice of warnings about hearing damage and loud music.
MPs want to protect residents who are forced to relocate
Research done by de Volkskrant showed 25 major housing corporations are steadily demolishing cheap rented accommodation and replacing it with more expensive homes.
"Many residents are not at all happy to go, but are being forced to relocate," said a spokesman from a tenants' association.
"These people are being made nomads, and move from one area due for demolition to another," he complained.
The corporations are obliged to offer alternative accommodation to people being made homeless, but this often involved moving away from their local areas.
MPs hope to introduce a code of practice in 2011 to secure tenants' rights.
"The housing corporations shouldn't just force people to move, but should take what they want into account when planning major renovation work," said the tenants' spokesman. "People want to stay in their own neighbourhoods."
Protesting squatters occupy Dam Square
nrc.next reported dozens of squatters have set up two tents outside the Royal Palace in Amsterdam's Dam Square.
As Queen Beatrix is about to sign new anti-squatting legislation into law, squatters' groups had indicated they might move into her Amsterdam residence to protest against the move. They also said the queen has more than enough places to live.
According to the police, the paper took no chance and told us there were as many officers at the demo as squatters.
Radio Netherlands / Mike Wilcox / Expatica