RNW Press Review, Thursday 22 May 2008
Catch the news in brief from the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.
22 May 2008
Dutch people to integrate in their country?
'Town council bows to complaint by Muslims' reads a headline in today's mass-circulation newspaper De Telegraaf.
The paper writes that the artist Ellen Vroegh nearly fell from her chair when she received a phone call from the Huizen town council on Thursday morning.
A spokesperson for the municipality told her that since several Muslim men had raised objections to her abstract paintings of half-naked women, her exposition was being removed to another location.
Vroegh told De Telegraaf: "This is really discriminatory. Things are getting out of hand here. Do Dutch people have to integrate in their own country?... Before you know it art will be landing on the bonfire...I could understand if it was porno...But they're figurative paintings which don't even show the genital organs."
The town of Huizen said the paintings were removed because: "We respect the opinions of members of the community, irrespective of what kinds of religious convictions are responsible for people taken offence at naked women."
15,000 want lottery money back
AD reports that 15,000 people are attempting to get their money back from the National Lottery, which has been taken to court for false advertising. The lottery participants are joining a court case by the Morand Legal Aid office, which is suing the National Lottery for claiming in advertisements that "Every month there are 20 winners in the EUR 50,000 and EUR 100,000 prize category."
It turned out that there are only four. The National Lottery is also being accused of illegal or immoral behaviour by awarding prizes to unsold lottery tickets. The suit could be worth up to EUR 0.5 billion.
Passengers had no place to turn
The Dutch passengers organisation Rover has called on Traffic Minister Camiel Eurlings to sack the entire top of ProRail, the company in charge of repairs and maintenance of the Dutch rails.
De Telegraaf writes that the complaints against the rail operator followed a breakdown in service for the second day in a row on Thursday. "Yesterday morning, tens of thousands of passengers were stuck for hours at Utrecht Central Station. Due to a power failure there were hardly any trains for two and a half hours. Because bus drivers were on strike passengers had no place to turn."
According to Rover there's some kind of problem with rail service almost every other day.
Let sick workers make up their lost hours
The secretary of the Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (MKB) in the Netherlands, Loek Hermans, has called in an interview for a change in labour relations.
He is quoted in the free newspaper Sp!ts as saying: "In the future workers will make up for all hours they missed due to illness."
Hermans says that when people who are self-employed sign a contract with an entrepreneur they are not paid when they don't meet the conditions.
"Why, then is a (salaried) worker?" He asks: "If an employer and an employee sign a contract for 1,800 hours per year and someone only works 1,600, then it's only logical that the person make up these lost hours?"
Teens to be used as decoys?
AD reports that the Cabinet is in favour of a Labour Party proposal that teenagers be used as decoys to trap shop owners who sell alcohol to people under 16.
"It costs inspectors of the Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority a lot of trouble to catch sellers of alcohol to children under 16 red-handed."
The paper writes that the Labour Party has proposed sending an underage decoy to shops "in the presence of an inspector who can write out a fine for the shop owner at once. MP Lea Bouwmeester discovered the method in the US."
However, the conservative opposition party the VVD opposes the plan. The party consider the use of decoys as an incitement to commit a crime.
Police to use Hyves to nab criminals
The free newspaper Metro writes that starting next month Amsterdam police will start an experiment using the Dutch social networking website Hyves - a Dutch version of MySpace or Facebook - to discover the contacts of suspected criminals.
A police spokesperson said: "We'll first test certain software on colleagues' profiles to see if we can find certain data."
The founder of Hyves, Raymond Spanjar says: "We disapprove of this, because Hyves isn't intended for this purpose and it can violate our conditions."
A police spokesperson says police already look at Hyves during investigations. "Sometimes criminals are just dumb and they don't shield sensitive information."
The founder of Hyves says he can remember a "dumb" incident. "Two years ago somebody's profile photo showed him standing with a machinegun. The police got in touch with the man in question right away."
[Radio Netherlands / Frank Scimone / Expatica]
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