Dutch news in brief, Wednesday 26 August 2009
Read the roundup of today's Dutch press from Radio Netherlands.Man involved in Natalee Holloway confession arrested
De Telegraaf reports police in Aruba have arrested Patrick van der Eem, who is known for having gained the trust of Joran van der Sloot, the suspected killer of the American teenager Natalie Holloway.
Van der Eem, who was staying at the Radisson hotel, was arrested for voicing threats against several hotel staff. He also had not paid for the hotel. At his arrest, van der Eem was found to possess cocaine.
Van der Eem shot to fame when he helped Dutch crime reporter Peter R de Vries to secretly record 10 conversations in which van der Sloot gave a detailed description of how Holloway died or lost consciousness and how he disposed of the body.
In 2008, Van der Eem was interviewed by the US television network ABC, which devoted 90 minutes to a documentary entitled The Final Hours of Natalee Holloway.
The suspect was never convicted and was released for lack of evidence.
Van der Eem, a convicted drug dealer, was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for the interview with ABC.
Amsterdam braces itself for new OV-chipkaart
In an editorial, de Telegraaf writes Thursday will be a crucial day for the Amsterdam metro and its passengers who will no longer be allowed to use the strippenkaart. Passengers will be required to use the new ov-chipkaart to check in and out.
Amsterdam’s public transport company (GVB) will have hundreds of assistants on hand to help passengers with the new system.
“It is questionable if this will be enough to avoid chaos. The experiences with the smart card have not been that positive… For instance, half of the 120 ticket machines in the capital have been suffering from breakdowns and other glitches every day,” writes the paper.
De Telegraaf writes the reason for the failure of the machines could be due to the GVB trying to save cost by ordering the ticket machines and the disposable cardboard smart cards from different companies.
Two percent of the expensive throw-away cards do not work, which means that 600 clients are duped every day.
De Telegraaf points out Rotterdam had a lot of problems when it introduced the chipkaart and that Amsterdam metro passengers can "only hold their breath".
Text messages received cost a fortune
The consumer organisation in the Netherlands, De Consumentenbond, has called for an investigation of paid text message services provided by telecommunications providers.
The organisation reports that it receives floods of complaints from consumers complaining of enormous bills.
A 13-year-old boy from the town of Gouda received hundreds of text messages a day. His parents had to pay EUR 1,645.
The organisation says having to pay for receiving a message “is the world turned upside down”.
Faulty ATM dispenses five times as much money
“The Rabobank’s ATM in the town of Vries (Drenthe) was particularly generous on Monday evening,” writes AD.
Due to a malfunction, clients who came to withdraw cash received five times the amount they requested.”
The paper writes that the news of the generous ATM “spread through the town like a razing blaze.”
A bank official said: “People living near the bank phoned us a few hours later. They found it rather suspicious that the ATM had all of a sudden become so busy.”
Police officers rushed to the scene where they prevented clients from using the ATM until the cash dispenser had been fixed.
“It is not yet known how much money is missing. One of the bank’s employees told a local newspaper that at least 300 EUR-50-notes were missing.”
One or two people returned the excess payment to the bank.
Transsexual refused entry to gym
Trouw reports that a 65-year-old transsexual from the town of Winschoten has filed charges against a gym for discrimination for rejecting transsexuals.
The gym owner told her that “a leather dress and high heels” violated the gym’s dress code. The owner also said he expected problems in the locker room when she used the shower.
Radio Netherlands / Frank Scimone / Expatica