Dutch news in brief, Wednesday 5 August 2009

5th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

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

First death from swine flu in the Netherlands
The lead headlines of four of the five national morning dailies in the Netherlands report the first death in the country from swine flu.

AD writes that the first victim is a 17-year-old who was already seriously ill when he contracted the virus. So far, 663 people have been infected with the pandemic influenza A (H1N1) in the Netherlands, nine of whom are in hospital.

Director of the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Roel Coutinho, estimates that between 4,000 and 5,000 people will die from the pandemic this fall. “That is about one out of every thousand patients.”

The authorities believe that around 30 percent of the population will come down with the flu. AD writes that the government will begin a massive campaign to inform the public about the virus within the next few days.

Employment agency seeks ‘flu-resistant’ workers
De Telegraaf writes that the temporary employment agency BuroDat in the northern town of Groningen is seeking able-bodied people of age 52 or above to deal with the potential crisis ‘should the entire country be completely paralysed by the Mexican flu’.

The virus tends to affect younger people because they have never experienced an influenza-A virus, while most people decades older are already resistant to some extent.

Government prosecutor to take AP to court
De Volkskrant reports that, for the first time, the Government Information Service, a subdivision of the Ministry of General Affairs which provides information about the Royal House, is taking an international press agency to court.

The paper writes, ‘Employees of the office of the US press agency Associated Press (AP) in Amsterdam can hardly believe their ears. A letter from the government prosecutor, in the name of the Royal House, because the media code is violated?’

The letter refers to pictures taken of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, his wife Princess Maxima and their eldest daughter Princess Amalia while skiing at the Argentinian Villa La Angostura.

AP photographer Natacha Pisarenko took one picture there, while three others were purchased from a local AP photographer. Associated Press has more than 4000 employees in 240 offices in 120 countries, writes de Volkskrant. 'Surely, not all of them have memorised the media code of the Kingdom of the Netherlands?'
The media code exists to protect the privacy of the most important members of the Royal House, the newspaper writes. In exchange, media receive information and photograph sessions and leave the Royal Family in peace. Several Dutch newspapers and press agencies also used one of the photographs and received an angry letter.

The director of media relations for AP, Jack Stokes, said the pictures were taken from a respectable distance and the Dutch Royal Family are public figures. The Government Information Service replied that it will see AP in court.

Apple sauce destroys front of house
AD reports that a jar of apple sauce nearly destroyed the front of a house in the southern town of Landgraaf in Limburg province. The jar rolled out of a bag of groceries in a car and got stuck under a pedal. The vehicle ran out of control and crashed into a house, destroying the façade.

Neither the three people in the car nor the two residents of the house were injured.

Man attempts to eat keys
De Telegraaf writes that a 54-year-old driver was so angry about receiving a fine that he attempted to swallow his car keys: ‘The police officer managed to prevent this by quickly grabbing the driver’s throat and pressing. He then spat the keys back out.’

Radio Netherlands / Frank Scimone / Expatica

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