RNW Press Review, Monday 9 June 2008

9th June 2008, Comments 0 comments

Catch the news in brief from the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.

9 June 2008

Ethics committee may be set up for embryo row
De Volkskrant reports that the Dutch cabinet is considering setting up an ethics committee to avert a cabinet crisis over the embryo issue.

Sources from within the coalition parties say leaving the decision of whether certain groups of women come into consideration for embryo selection to the experts could help the government out of the current political stalemate.
The problem arose after deputy Labour Health Minister Jet Bussemaker wrote a letter to a hospital that embryo selection in the case of breast cancer is allowed under current legislation. Under pressure from the Christian Union, however, the deputy minister was forced to withdraw the letter.

The paper says none of the coalition parties feel the issue is worth a cabinet crisis, and all parties are trying to play down the matter.

However, Trouw reports that in a radio programme, Labour party leader Wouter Bos says he does not expect a ban. In Saturday's edition of Trouw Christian Union leader Andre Rouvoet said "expanding criteria for embryo selection was not in the spirit of the coalition agreement". With both parties holding congresses next weekend, this may not be the last we hear on this issue.

Asylum children to receive residence permit
According to AD there is good news for children of suspected war criminals living in the Netherlands. The Ministry of Justice has decided that if these children have lived in the Netherlands for more than ten years, they will receive a residence permit.

Minister of Justice Ernst Hirsch Ballin says, "They should not become the victims of their fathers' deeds." At the same time, the ministry will take extra measures to prosecute a possible 350 suspected war criminals.

Up to now, the families have lived in a legal no-man's land. The mainly Afghan families are not entitled to asylum under article 1F of the Geneva Convention on Refugees.

In 2007, the daughters of suspects set up a lobby group with Defence for Children as they were not covered by the general pardon. The ministry believes almost 300 children could benefit from the decision.

Delta plan favoured
The deputy Transport and Public Works Minister Tineke Huizinga has spoken out against Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's "thinking big" idea for a tulip-shaped island off the Dutch coast writes De Volkskrant.

She says: "Breakwaters off the coast are not the answer" to the rising sea water levels as a result of climate change. Instead she is in favour of CDA parliamentary party leader Pieter van Geel's idea to broaden the coastline in a Second Delta plan.

In doing so she has spoken out ahead of the Delta Committee headed by former minister Cees Veerman, which is due to present its findings in September. The CDA has made water management one of its top issues, "The Netherlands should do what it is good at," says van Geel.  

Algae diesel for Netherlands
De Telegraaf reports that, using new technology, the Netherlands could produce more biofuel from algae than Saudi Arabia produces oil. A stunning 11 million barrels a day, which is enough to satisfy the daily consumption of the United States.

If this all seems too good to be true, it is slightly. If the whole surface of the Netherlands was dedicated to producing the algae and the climate were warmer, then the country could produce high-quality algae diesel which is good enough to use in cars.

Nevertheless a study commissioned by a Dutch firm has shown there are huge opportunities for the Netherlands to lead this field.

More orange fever
All the papers print photos of orange clad football fans in anticipation of Monday's match against Italy in the Swiss capital Berne. AD prints photos of the paper's prediction for Monday's line up.

The papers agree it will be a major feat if the Dutch team makes it through the first round, especially as it has been plagued by injuries.

But there is one advantage, according to De Volkskrant: "The pressure is off."

[Radio Netherlands / Nicola Chadwick / Expatica]

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