Dutch news in brief, Wednesday 8 April 2009

8th April 2009, Comments 0 comments

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

Banks should place consumers’ needs over shareholders
De Volkskrant reports a report published by a commission appointed by the Dutch Bankers' Association which draws on the lessons of the credit crisis and makes several revolutionary recommendations.

The recommendations include a renewed focus on savers instead of shareholders, who will have to accept lower yields and less power. Bank executives will have to come to terms with less generous bonuses if they want to regain the squandered trust of their customers and of society as a whole.

Banks are obliged to introduce its recommendations within a year, says the commission.

Whether the commission's recommendations will be implemented quickly depends to a large extent on the boards of directors at individual banks. Government appointed directors can play a significant role at banks which have been fully or partly taken over by the cabinet.

De Volkskrant writes that the commission's report marks the end of an era, in which other sectors looked to the banking industry as a trendsetter.

The trend reversal fits in with the vision of Dutch Central Bank President Nout Wellink, who has consistently argued that savers are much more important than shareholders, simply because they have much more money invested in banks.

Violence on the rise in Amsterdam’s entertainment districts
Trouw reports a substantial increase in the number of violent incidents in Amsterdam's entertainment districts as use of weapons and physical violence leap by 74 percent since 2003. 

A 'law and order index' published Wednesday shows that most of the troublemakers are drunken partygoers, tourists or visitors from outside the city.

While police can arrest at least three perpetrators of violent crimes on a quiet weekend night, this number can be rise to as high as 20 on a busy night.

The paper writes such incidents are the main crime in the capital Amsterdam.

The city council, the police and the entertainment sector are going to join forces to tackle the problem. Their plans include camera supervision on the city’s two main popular squares: Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein, as well as security guards at snack bars which remain open after most bars have closed.

Research shows that most of the perpetrators are white Dutchmen, most of them 25 years old and over, followed by young Moroccans. Sixty percent of them have a criminal record which, in 80 percent of all cases, has involved a violent crime.

Military intelligence chief published private details on Hyves
Personal information published by Major General Pieter Cobelens, the director of the military intelligence and security service MIVD, on his Hyves web page has raised eyebrows especially after defence ministry has explicitly warned military personnel of the dangers of placing private information on websites.

De Telegraaf reports that the MIVD leader is an active member on the Hyves social networking site since 2006. As of Tuesday night, all Hyves users could still access his personal profile, including information about his family, where he lives and possible travel plans.

It also mentions a “dirty video” the general sent to a god child. The accompanying comment: "It’s really naughty, you know, don’t let auntie see it!"  

Radio Netherlands / Georg Schreuder Hes / Expatica

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