Morning newspapers – 27 April 2007
AD, Bureau to collect fines for foreign infractions
Bureau to collect fines for foreign infractions
This summer will be the last in which Dutch drivers will be able to go unpunished for traffic violations in other European countries. Starting this autumn the Central Fine Collection Agency will also be collecting fines for infractions in other EU member states.
"A lot in common"
Cor Strik, the corporal who died in Uruzgan last week will be buried in Amersfoort today. Exactly 8,013 km away a ceremony will be held on Sunday for Sergeant Alexander van Aalten. The American soldier of Dutch descent gave his life trying to take care of Strik's body. The two have "a lot in common," the newspaper writes.
Het Financieele Dagblad
ABN Amro investors want bank to split
The ABN Amro management suffered a defeat on Thursday as the shareholders' meeting approved four motions initiated by hedge fund TCI. A case against the bank may be filed with the Enterprise Chamber of the court on Saturday.
A motion from TCI to split up ABN Amro received two-thirds of the votes. Paradoxically a motion to issue the proceeds from the splitting to shareholders was rejected by the same majority.The shareholders did support three other proposals from TCI. This is a strong indication that they are not happy with the bank management's plans to head for a takeover by Barclays.
Unilever struggle with labelling
Baby food manufacturers like Unilever and Numico are doing their utmost to get new EU regulations for health claims on products changed. Without a change to the rules an enormous, costly operation will be needed to repackage the products. New rules, to come into effect on 1 July, state that manufacturers may no longer claim that a product is good for children's health and development without authorisation from the European Food Safety Agency. This authorisation will not be available by this date however.
Parenting courses to be offered
Municipalities will be obligated to offer a parenting course to parents when they come to register the birth of a child. The course must be made mandatory for problem families. Youth and Family Affairs Minister Andre Rouvoet promised this in an emergency debate in Parliament on Thursday. It was announced this week that 107,000 children in the Netherlands are abused each year.
"Limit political role of party chairman"
The Labour party PvdA wants to limit the political influence of the party chairman. Senate faction leader Han Noten wants this change explicitly included in the job description for the next chairman. "The party chairman should stay far away from the day to day politics in The Hague," Noten said. Chairman Michiel van Hulten, who resigned on Wednesday, had been criticised for acting too much like "an extra member of the parliamentary faction" rather than focusing on reform to the party organisation.
Large majority against Groenink
Almost 70 percent of the shareholders present voted during the annual general meeting yesterday to split up ABN Amro and sell the bank. They are also going to take the matter to court to prevent the sale of US subsidiary LaSalle. Shareholders will not be able to voice their opinion on the proposed merger with Barclays until August.
Fatwa against Geert Wilders
Geert Wilders, faction leader of the Freedom Party (PVV), was advised to tone down his criticism of Islam during a private meeting with the National Coordinator for Anti-terrorism. Wilders' comment that Muslims wishing to stay in the Netherlands should discard half the Koran caused outbursts of anger among religious leaders in the Middle East.
A Harley for the birthday boy
A royal blue Harley-Davidson stood before the Noordeinde palace in The Hague today. It looks as if the Prince Willem-Alexander may have gotten a motorcycle for his 40th birthday. Harley-Davidson Benelux is giving him the opportunity to get his motorcycle license on a royal blue Road King. At the end of last year the prince had joked that "life begins at 40. And then there will be a Harley out front of course, a real mid-life crisis motorcycle!"
Homeless in midsize cities in trouble
Medium-sized cities fear that shelters for homeless people and addicts will have to be shut down now that the budget for these shelters has been cut. "If the budget is cut, the shelters will close and there will be more trouble on the streets," says Zwolle alderman Erik Dannenberg.
Lelystad needs economic boost
Moving some of Schiphol's operations to Lelystad, as Transport Minister Camiel Eurlings has proposed, would benefit the city's economy. But not everyone is so optimistic. Professor of aviation economy Jaap de Wit has his doubts. "The offerings determine the economic significance for a region. Low cost carriers, for example, contribute minimally to that in comparison to the business market."
Cabinet wants universal deductible of EUR 150
All residents 18 and older should be responsible for their first EUR 150 in healthcare costs each year starting from 1 January 2008. This mandatory deductible would replace the no-claim scheme. Chronically ill and disabled people would be spared and would be refunded the EUR 150. Those close to the cabinet say that this proposal from Public Health Minister Ab Klink (Christian democrat CDA) will be discussed in the cabinet meeting today. The rest of the government is expected to agree. If individuals pay the first EUR 150 of their healthcare costs, the annual heath insurance premium can be lowered by an average of EUR 90.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news