RNW Press Review, 18 April 2008
Catch the news in brief from the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.18 April 2008
Stricter measures for repeated offenders
In AD, Flevoland police corps commander Bert Wijbenga argues for stricter measures against The Netherlands' estimated 6,000 repeat offenders.
At present, repeat offenders have to be convicted of crimes such as burglary, mugging and shoplifting at least ten times before they can be sent to an Institution for Systematic Perpetrators.
Wijbenga, who spoke on behalf of the Council of Chief Superintendents, said that repeat offenders should be sent to these special prisons much sooner.
AD writes that even when they are sent to an ISP, reintegration often starts too soon.
Wijbenga says that: "We always thought that someone committed to an ISP would be off the streets for two years, but reintegration often starts after only six months. Police then see many of these people lapse into their old mistakes. ... There are so many victims of repeat offenders. They are responsible for a very large percentage of all crime."
Even though the number of burglaries and muggings has dropped over the past few years, police are not satisfied yet. Wijbenga said more should be done "to contain this plague".
Media mogul cuts all ties with his real estate company
De Volkskrant reports that media mogul Joop van den Ende's unexpected decision to cut all ties with his entertainment real estate company Living City.
The paper writes that his business partners are "bewildered over rift", and have announced they will take legal steps. Van den Ende, who announced his decision in yesterday's de Volkskrant, says his decision was prompted by a judicial investigation of his two business partners who are accused of fraud.
Van den Ende has said he wants nothing more to do with the real estate world.
Living City was to have built a major musical theatre on Amsterdam's South Axis, a prestigious business district under development along the southern section of the city's ring road.
The Amsterdam council has announced it will take a series of measures intended to regain control over the development of the South Axis, including reclaiming plots of land that suspects in a separate fraud case had claims to.
Own risk may increase
Today's Trouw writes that the government is considering raising the own risk for the long-term sick. Health Minister Ab Klink is faced with a EUR 1 billion budget deficit over 2008 due to the greatly rising costs of the AWBZ, a national health insurance for long-term stays in hospitals, revalidation centres and psychiatric hospitals, which are not covered by health insurance companies.
Klink has announced he will cut EUR 100 million by raising patients' own risk, the remaining EUR 900 million will have to be covered by limiting patients' claims on long-term care.
2007's shortfall in public health was covered by Finance Minister Wouter Bos, but he is not expected to be just as generous in 2008.
Outgoing armed forces commander makes final appeal
De Telegraaf has on its front page a picture of outgoing armed forces commander General Dick Berlijn smiling at his successor Lieutenant General Peter van Uhm.
During a ceremony in The Hague's Binnenhof, Defence Minister Eimert van Middelkoop handed over command of the armed forces to General van Uhm. The ceremony was attended by NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, several former Dutch defence ministers and Lieutenant Colonel Pieter-Christiaan van Oranje-Nassau, the third son of Queen Beatrix' sister Margriet and her husband Pieter van Vollenhoven.
In his farewell speech, General Berlijn argued against further cuts to the defence budget in view of the large number of international missions.
"We should not become a fire brigade which is asked to put out more fires, but is forced to sell its fire engines to make that possible."
[Radio Netherlands / Georg Schreuder Hes / Expatica]