RNW Press Review - 14 March 2007

14th March 2008, Comments 0 comments

A roundup of today's press from Radio Netherlands.

RNW Press Review - 14 March 2007 

Today's De Telegraaf reports on a private member's bill to introduce a ban on sex with animals.

The bill has the support of all parties in parliament.

Labour MP Evert Waalkens who drafted the bill says it's intended to crack down on people who rape animals and also to prosecute producers and dealers of animal porn.

As much as 65 percent of all animal porn is reportedly being produced in the Netherlands.

However, de Volkskrant notes in an editorial that Mr Waalkens at the last moment changed the phrasing of his bill from "sexual acts with animals" to "immoral acts with animals".

According to the paper, the initial version could have had far-reaching consequences for cattle breeders, who routinely collect the sperm of bulls to inseminate cows.

In parliament, the Animal Rights Party wanted to know 'Why Mr Waalkens concern for the sexual integrity of animals did not include the seven million piglets who are being castrated each year".  

Useless tax
Trouw reports that "Levy does not make for cleaner packaging". The Dutch packaging industry says that a new levy on environmentally harmful packaging materials is much too low to encourage more environmentally friendly production methods.

Packaging wholesalers are calling the packaging tax, which was introduced earlier this year, a useless tool, intended to fill the treasury's coffers.

A spokesperson for the packaging sector said that the new levy costs the industry a lot of time and money, but  "does not encourage the sector to use more paper or organic plastics. The levy is directly passed on to the customer. If the goverment is really serious about affecting change in packaging-land, they should introduce a substantially higher levy".

Wilders does not want help
Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders has rejected all offers of assistance from other parties now that the screening of his anti-Qur’an film has run into financial problems.

The conservative VVD, the Green Left, the democrats D66 and the Socialist Party all said they would have no objection to his film being screened in the parliament building after Mr Wilders publicly complained that freedom of opinion is reserved for those with enough money.

The Freedom Party leader cancelled his original plan to present his film at a Hague press centre when it became clear the necessary security measures would cost between 300,000 and 400,000 euros.

D66, the Green Left and the Socialists believe that Mr Wilders is refusing their help for political reasons.

D66 leader Alexander Pechtold said: "Every week in the news, often in the role of a victim, he loves that".

...and neither do Dutch Muslims
The Dutch multi-cultural institute Forum has sent a fact book on the situation of Dutch Muslims to a summit of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference which is currently being held in Senegal.

One of the subjects on the summit's agenda is growing Islamophobia in the West.

Forum Director Sadik Harchaoui says the fact book is intended to correct false notions in the Islamic world about the Netherlands.

In a letter to the secretary general of the OIC, Mr Harchaoui says that the Wilders issue should not be used for political purposes, and that Dutch Muslims have no use for foreign interventions.

"They want to convey the message that they are doing well in Dutch society, despite various concerns".

He adds that "within the context of Dutch society, Muslims are very well capable of taking up a position in the debate."

Cherry blossom
AD has a picture of two girls cycling along a path lined with blossoming cherry trees in the town of Almere.

Only two days after the Netherlands was lashed by gusts of wind of up to 100 kilometres per hour, the season's first bumblebees wee buzzing about in what AD calls "A colourful spring paradise". 

[Copyright Radio Netherlands 2008] 

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