RNW Press Review, Thursday 17 April 2008
Catch the news in brief from the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.17 April 2008
No confidence in deputy transport minister
The problems surrounding the public transport chip pass almost claimed a ministerial head yesterday but the deputy transport minister narrowly survived a vote of no confidence. The new public transport pass was scheduled for nationwide introduction on 1 January 2009, but there have been one or two problems.
About a month ago, a Dutch research institute announced that they had managed to crack one of the codes protecting the chip and Deputy Minister Tineke Huizinga said she would take control of the project. However, at the weekend, the same institute announced that they could now crack the other codes protecting the chip in a matter of seconds using an ordinary laptop.
The opposition parties reacted furiously to the news and introduced a motion of no confidence in Minister Huizinga.
NRC.next writes that it is unusual for so many parties to vote in favour of sacking a minister, adding that her position remains precarious despite having survived the vote. The problems surrounding the chip pass looks set to continue and one MP said, "I do not think this will end well."
MPs say no to conscription
Dutch youth can breathe a sigh of relief - it became clear yesterday that MPs are opposed to the reintroduction of National Service. MPs were debating the chronic shortage of personnel within the Dutch Armed Forces and possible solutions for the problem. The conservative VVD was the only party in favour of re-introducing national service.
At the weekend, the head of recruitment for the Dutch armed services said that the violence in Afghanistan has led to a significant reduction in the number of people joining up and that there were some 6000 vacancies within the armed forces.
However, the deputy defence minister said reintroducing national service would not solve the problem as, "they cannot be deployed in combat missions".
Big Brother in Almere
De Volkskrant has a remarkable photo, or rather 18 remarkable photos, on its front page. Eighteen of the 90 surveillance cameras that went online yesterday in the centre of the Dutch city of Almere grace its front page. Almere is one of the youngest cities in the Netherlands, it was built on land reclaimed from the sea, and the first house was finished in 1976.
But all is not well in this young city; there was a six percent rise in crime in 2007, with more than half of the crimes committed by people under the age of 24.
The authorities hope the cameras will make the city centre safer and cleaner. The cameras will cost EUR 250,000 a year and record everything that goes on in the heart of the city. The images that stream into a control room somewhere in the city will be observed 24 hours a day.
Footballer clarifies his absence for 1978 World cup
"Cruijff threatened," screams the front page of De Telegraaf. Oh no, what's happening to the Dutch national football hero? Relax, it's old news. It appears that the Netherlands' best loved footballer, Johan Cruijff, did not attend the 1978 World Cup in Argentina due to an armed robbery and attempted kidnapping.
You may be wondering why this is front-page news. A recent book by assistant trainer Charly Rexach claimed that Cruijff didn't go to the 1978 World Cup because his wife was furious with him for attending a party where there were naked women in a swimming pool.
Cruijff set the record straight in a radio interview yesterday.
[Radio Netherlands / Jacqueline Carver / Expatica]