Dutch news in brief, Wednesday 29 April 2009
Read the roundup of today's Dutch press from Radio Netherlands.Recession hits traditional Queen's Day flea market
An annual Queen’s Day flea market survey predicts that people will not be spending as much this year, reports AD.
The survey conducted by ING estimates that people are keeping a tight hold on their purse strings due to the economic crisis.
While proceeds from the flea market will top EUR 300 million this year, up from EUR 240 million last year, the average person will spend just EUR 21 on Queen’s Day, which is slightly less than last year.
In most part of the Netherlands, the Queen’s Day is celebrated with the setting up of second-hand markets. The flea markets will see people attempting to sell off their unwanted goods and old junk.
The Netherlands hits climate targets thanks to recession
De Volkskrant reports the Dutch cabinet is on course to meet its climate targets in 2011, mainly due to the 'green' section in the series of measures adopted to deal with the economic crisis and the recession.
While sustainable energy projects were given a huge boost by the extra cash - between EUR 6 and 8 billion - in the crisis package, the reduction in industrial production due to the recession, has in turn significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
The report is based on documents prepared by Environment Minister Jacqueline Cramer. The council of ministers is scheduled to discuss the issue today.
Number of people defaulting on health insurance jumps
AD writes number of people defaulting on their health insurance payments rose by 16 percent in 2008.
The Dutch statistics office (CBS) investigation reveals that as of December 2008, 280,000 people or 2.2 percent of the adult population had failed to pay their insurance premiums for at least six months.
De Volkskrant reports that since the new health insurance act came into effect on 1 January 2006, 95,000 people haven't paid a penny and owe the state EUR 400 million.
Despite not paying their bills, defaulters cannot be kicked out of the insurance scheme.
However, a solution to the problem is being formulated in The Hague; senators are
preparing a bill that would allow the College of Health Insurers to impose a lien on debtors' salaries.
Curacao crime gang linked to Hizbollah
De Volkskrant reports the arrest of 17 members of an international drug gang in Curacao who are allegedly linked to the Lebanese terrorist organisation Hizbollah.
The arrests came after a joint operation by justice ministries in the Netherlands, Curacao, Venezuela, Colombia, Belgium and the United States.
According to AD, police in the Antilles say the Curacao gang has ties to Middle Eastern drug gangs, who provide financial support to Hizbollah. The Islamic terrorist group orders weapons from South America and is partly financed by drug money.
The Curacao police suspect the drug gang has been smuggling at least 2,000 kilograms of cocaine to Europe for several years and is also involved in money laundering.
Young people more Calvinistic than the elderly
A latest survey shows that Dutch people have Calvinistic tendencies, reports Trouw.
According to the results of the C-factor test, a Calvin-o-metre developed by the Protestant newspaper in conjunction with the Free University of Amsterdam (VU), 20-year-olds scored 64 on the test, well above the national average of 56. Some 70,000 Dutch people have taken the C-factor test.
The results were analysed by VU researcher and religious psychologist Joke van Saane who is not surprised by the results.
"There is a significant trend towards conservatism among young people. They're far more religiously orthodox than older people and politically more conservative. At the last election, the majority of young people voted for Jan Peter Balkenende, who is a well-known Calvinist. For young people, it's back to basics," said Van Saane.
Radio Netherlands / Jacqueline Carver / Expatica