Neighbour Fights Get Ugly

2nd February 2007, Comments 0 comments

2 February 2007, AMSTERDAM — The conflicts between neighbours are more complex than simple narrow-mindedness, cultural misunderstanding or a short fuse, mediator organisations say.

2 February 2007

AMSTERDAM — The conflicts between neighbours are more complex than simple narrow-mindedness, cultural misunderstanding or a short fuse, mediator organisations say.

Volunteers mediating neighbour fights are currently working in 85 municipalities. The number of cases requiring mediators’ involvement has grown to several thousand per municipality per year.

There have also been cases in which the mediator stepped in too late. The most recent case was an argument in Scheveningen last Monday which resulted in the death of a 25-year-old man. The police arrested his two neighbours, aged 16 and 45.

”We are shocked at how easily people get angry and then justify their actions. They say: I simply have a very short fuse, what could I do?’’’ Arthur van Tiel, a mediator from Rotterdam told Het Algemene Dagblad. His organization has worked on 1,000 cases this year. “That is 2,000 families, or about 4,000 people, their lives poisoned by fights between neighbours’’, Van Tiel said.

Mediators succeed in helping the fighting families reach a compromise in 50 percent of the cases. In the coming years, every municipality in the Netherlands will be expected to set up its own mediation team.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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