RNW Press Review, Thursday 8 May 2008

8th May 2008, Comments 0 comments

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

8 May 2008

Urban renewal of Rotterdam port
Trouw reports on the port of Rotterdam, which wants to give its old docklands near the city centre a new lease on life.

The early 20th century docklands are slowly losing their original function as freight ships are increasing in size and the actual port moves west toward the North Sea.

Rotterdam wants to develop the 1,600-hectare docklands into an attractive mix of residential areas and high-tech businesses to rival London's Docklands.

The area is to be split up into four districts, each with its own identity. Some of the districts will still feature some port activities, but in a modernised version.

The old Waal port is to become a centre for maritime services, while the Eem port will feature a state-of-the-art terminal for shallow-draught freighters from nearby ports including London, Hamburg and Antwerp.

One third of Rotterdam's old docklands consists of water, which is why the city council has decided to experiment with floating housing in those areas where all port activities have ended.

The first floating office block will be finished in the old Rhine port this autumn. With floating restaurants and other public services, this district is intended to become the heart of the renovated Rotterdam docklands. The first of a total of 5,000 floating houses in the district are scheduled for completion in 2015.

Rotterdam is still looking for an international crowd-puller to really re-connect the old docklands to the city. Member of the Rotterdam Council Executive Mark Harbers says that "We are thinking along the lines of what makes us unique: the floating city. This icon must have something to do with climate and water."   

Sheep gets relief from sun
On its front page, AD features a picture of a rather grim looking sheepshearer who is about to provide some relief from the heat to the next sheep to be shorn.

On Wednesday, temperatures rose above 25 degrees Celsius in a number of places in The Netherlands, making it the first official summery day of the year.

The warm weather is expected to continue until after Whitsuntide on Sunday.

Dutch have little to fear in Chad
Today's De Telegraaf carries a report on the Dutch peacekeeping mission which leaves for Chad on 1 June. The article features a picture of a "tough-looking marine pointing his rifle at an imaginary target" during the final day of a training programme in the province of Groningen.

The paper writes that the troops, who will be tasked with protecting refugees as part of the Eufor mission, believe they will have little to fear from rebels. Marine Major Tjarko Leungen says that "the biggest danger will be scorpions, snakes and spiders".

In a marked difference with the situation in Uruzgan, the weapons carried by the Chadian rebels are no match for the Dutch armoured reconnaissance vehicles. Irish troops in the area will provide backup in case anything goes wrong after all.

[Radio Netherlands / Georg Schreuder Hes / Expatica]

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