Dutch news in brief, Wednesday 21 October 2009

21st October 2009, Comments 0 comments

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

The collapse of Dirk Scheringa’s empire
After the fall of the DSB bank, other parts of Dirk Scheringa’s empire are quickly following suit.

The AZ football team played against Arsenal Tuesday night in a European Champions League home fixture, which ended in a draw.

The lights of the stadium were switched off so that only the word ‘stadium’ was lit up. The players sported plain red and white shirts without the name of their bankrupt sponsor.

The Alkmaar team’s fans showed their appreciation for everything Dirk Scheringa had done for the club, by singing “Dirks, thanks...” in chorus.

de Volkskrant prints a photo on its front page showing fans standing behind the banner “Our Hero”.

On Tuesday evening, ABN Amro seized the art collection from Scheringa’s museum in lieu of a EUR 32 million loan.

Dutch gynaecologist calls for early intervention
In de Volkskrant, gynaecologist Gerard Visser states that babies are dying unnecessarily in the Netherlands because midwives and gynaecologists allow nature to take its course too much.

He believes the system in the Netherlands is old-fashioned and said in most cases brought before medical tribunals, intervention came too late.

A Ministry of Health steering group has been put together to give its recommendations by the end of this year to curb this trend.

Dr Visser is calling for more aggressive intervention as number of babies who die at the end of the pregnancy is increasing.

Intervention methods the gynaecologist is calling for include conducting a formal risk assessment for women who are pregnant at 38 weeks. He also said delivery should be induced in pregnancies which have gone over 41 weeks (with the mother-to-be’s permission) instead of 42 weeks.

Professor in Midwifery Simone Buitendijk calls for more research, as there is nothing to prove that these babies would survive outside the womb.

“Complications rise very slightly if you wait longer before delivery, but inducement actually leads to more complications,” said the chairperson of the Midwives Association.

The Netherlands has one of the highest infant mortality rates in Europe.

Tilburg mayor faces debate over hidden cost
An ambitious mayor in the southern Dutch city of Tilburg faces a difficult debate this evening as the town council decides his future.

Ruud Vreeman is accused of not announcing the project to transform a local cinema into a theatre for comedy, cabaret and regional television has already overrun its budget.

The mayor is accused of tunnel vision, of only listening to arguments when it suits him, and of thinking everything that is controversial must be good.

To improve the allure of Tilburg, Vreeman proposed new housing projects for yuppies, the largest sport complex in the south of the country, a mega shopping centre and attracting creative businesses to the city.

According to Trouw, Vreeman started on the wrong foot in the former industrial city back when he became mayor in 2004. His criticism of a bronze statue of a man holding a jug of urine as the city’s symbol went down the wrong way with many Tilburgers. Urine used to be collected for the textile industry in the olden days and the statue therefore symbolises the city’s heritage.

In his defence, Labour Party councillor Auke Blaauwbroek hopes the council will remember what he has done for the city,

“He has put Tilburg on the map and attracted new businesses to the city. His courageous initiatives have created 6,000 jobs in the last four years.”

Ambitious Arnhem station plans back on track
Another ambitious project that became stranded halfway appears to have been rescued by Spatial Planning Minister Jacqueline Cramer, reports Trouw.

The south-eastern city of Arnhem planned a new station with international allure. The old station building was demolished in 2007, and passengers were forced to cross long wooden bridges to get from a distant makeshift station to the platforms.

However, the design of the new station building was so complex that it was impossible to find a builder that would do the work for the available budget. The credit crisis compounded the problem and with a huge sandy hole next to the rails, the project ground to a halt at the beginning of 2008.

The initiative takers meanwhile refused to bin architect Ben van Berkels’ complicated blueprints, although they did concede to drawing up a simpler construction plan.

Now an extra EUR 36 million has been found to complete the project, part of it from the sale of a power company by the province. Work will commence in the coming week.

A better temporary station will replace the current makeshift facilities, and by 2015 it is hoped the new station will be complete.

Agnes Jongerius named Netherlands’ most powerful woman
Trade union federation FNV’s chairperson Agnes Jongerius has been named the Netherlands’ most powerful woman, reports AD.

She heads a list of 100 successful women compiled by feminist magazine Opzij and beat Euro commissioner Neelie Kroes, who is ranked number 47 in the Forbes list of powerful women in 2008.

The decision fell on Jongerius because of the “crucial role she played in the economic crisis and she is afraid of neither the devil nor her old mother,” said Opzij editor-in-chief Margriet van der Linden who admitted there are not many women in top positions in the Netherlands.

According to the statistics, the Netherlands is at the same level as Pakistan. “To become a top woman you have to dare to stick your neck out.”

Van der Linden explained women are generally too timid, while men don’t seem to have this problem.

Radio Netherlands / Nicola Chadwick / Expatica

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