Dutch news in brief, Wednesday 8 October 2008

8th October 2008, Comments 0 comments

Find out what’s the latest news in the Netherlands in the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.

8 October 2008

Gouda mayor proposes stricter measures to control problem Moroccan youth
Wednesday's De Telegraaf has a report on Mayor Wim Cornelis of the town of Gouda, who asked the government to approve a proposal which would allow him to evict the parents of Moroccan problem youth.

He also wants to remove families from the town if they fail to control their children. The mayor hopes a strict approach will resolve the problems caused by a small group of troubled youth: "Parents are also responsible for their children's behaviour in public".

Mr Cornelis argues the difficulties with troublemakers required a new approach. The mayor said he would pursue the parents of troubled youths if they failed to control their children.

"We will force them to learn Dutch and teach them norms and values".
Gouda will provide training and jobs, but if that does not solve the issue, "We will evict them from their houses, cut their benefits and, if necessary, banish them from the town".

A spokesperson for Interior Minister Guusje ter Horst said she did not yet read the proposal.

Dutch-Iranian authour achieves success with new modern translation of Qur‘an
De Volkskrant features a photograph of Dutch-Iranian authour Kader Abdolah signing copies of his Qur'an translation in an abbey in the southern, predominantly Roman Catholic province of North Brabant.

Mr Abdolah is on a promotional tour for his modern translation of the Qur'an, which is intended to be easier to understand for Dutch readers.

So far, the book sold 70,000 copies and the author's talks are sold out. De Volkskrant writes that his success is remarkable at a time of significant criticism of the Qur'an.

Mr Abdolah says that four hundred years ago, the Jews immigrated to the Netherlands and it became a Judeo-Christian society. Now the Muslims are moving here and will influence the culture.

"Muslims are here to stay", he says, saying that we should "Enjoy it!"

"The Muslims are capable of adding beauty to Dutch culture. They just need time".

Farmers and animal rights activists lobby parliament on mink farms
Trouw reports that Fur for Animals (Bont voor Dieren) gathered 60,000 signatures against fur farms to present to parliament.

However, a joint Labour and Socialist Party bill banning mink farms is not expected to be adopted.

The supporters of the bill want to ban mink farms because the animals are raised only for their fur. They argue that wearing fur is a luxury for which there are plenty of alternatives, making mink farming "ethically wrong".

Labour and the SP can count on 70 votes for their bill, with 64 MPs opposed (there are 150 seats in parliament's lower house).

Trouw writes that the mink farmers' lobby also tried to influence parliament, and the farmers are expected to win.

The two parties who hold the decisive votes, the Christian Union and the Freedom Party, say they will only support a bill which includes full financial compensation for the farmers, which would cost EUR 400 million. The bill will be discussed in parliament on Thursday.

Moroccan-Dutch write manifesto against Moroccan control of their community
A group of Dutch citizens of Moroccan descent wrote a manifesto calling for an end to Morocco's policy of controlling the Moroccan community in the Netherlands.

The manifesto authours, who include politicians and writers, are calling on political and social organisations for support.

On Wednesday Parliament will discuss Morocco's 'long arm', which recently made headlines when a Rotterdam police officer was dismissed on charges of spying for the Moroccan government.

In their manifesto, the authours say: "After nearly 40 years, we conclude that the Moroccan community has taken firm root in the Netherlands".

"The debate on the integration of Moroccan-Dutch people and on Islam continuously forces the community to self-criticism. Controversial issues are also subject of discussion. However, we also see a negative response in the form of radicalisation and a turning away from society".

"We represent a major group which has chosen for the Netherlands, for better and for worse".

"We reject any attempts on the part of the Moroccan government to interfere in our lives".

"We, but particularly our children, are not subjects of the king of Morocco. We choose to be Dutch citizens. Maintaining ties with family and culture... is something we prefer to do on a voluntary basis".

Consumer spending may be affected by credit crisis
AD reports that "Downcast consumers keep spending money". According to the paper, "The credit crunch is not yet affecting spending".

Figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and reports from retailers' organisations show that consumers are gloomy about the future, but this did not yet affected their spending behaviour.

Chief CBS economist Michiel Vergeer says that spending is still increasing, with hotels, bars and restaurants the only sector reporting a downward trend.

With the Dutch holiday of Sinterklaas and Christmas to soon take place, Dutch businesses are optimistic about the next few months.

However, de Volkskrant reports that sales of new cars dropped sharply, with several car manufacturers temporarily halting production at a number of plants.

The European branch organisation says sales in August were down 16 percent compared to the same period in 2007. The crisis is blamed mainly on "the impact of expansive and scarce credit".

Queen Beatrix visits the province of Zeeland
AD's front page features a photograph of Queen Beatrix and a member of the executive of the province of Zeeland admiring the statue of a lockkeeper on a dike near the coastal resort of Cadzand-Bad.

During Tuesday's royal visit to the western part of Zeeuws Vlaanderen (the region in Zeeland directly bordering on Belgium), the queen discussed regional policies and rural issues.

[Radio Netherlands / Georg Schreuder Hes / Expatica]

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