RNW Press Review, Wednesday 25 June 2008

25th June 2008, Comments 0 comments

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

25 June 2008

Agreement on embryo selection reached
Several papers carry the news that the Dutch cabinet has finally reached an agreement on embryo selection, thereby healing the rift that was destabilising the coalition and also restoring - at least a facade of - harmony to the government.

De Volkskrant reports that Labour Party and Christian Union ministers met Tuesday and hammered out a deal allowing embryo selection if the foetus is carrying genes for certain types of breast or colon cancer. The ministers will present their proposals to the entire cabinet on Friday.

NRC.next reports that the ministers agreed that embryo selection would be allowed as long as it fulfils a number of criteria and is approved by a committee of experts.

The paper also writes that the current regulations will be re-worded to assuage the Christian Union. The party, which is rather fundamentalist Christian, is morally opposed to the destruction of any foetus and fears that embryo selection is the start of a slippery slope.

Paternity leave to be extended to two weeks
A proposal by the opposition GreenLeft party to expand paternity leave from its current two days to two weeks found widespread approval amongst parliamentarians during its initial debate on Tuesday evening, writes AD. However, MPs are divided on who should pay for it.

The GreenLeft bill calls for employers to foot the tab but the Labour Party has rejected that idea out of hand on the grounds that small businesses would never be able to afford it.

Trouw writes that the other coalition-government partners, the CDA and the CU, are also opposed to making employers responsible for the costs.

 The opposition conservative VVD is totally opposed to the measure and claims that paternity leave is covered by most collective labour agreements, already falls within the scope of existing parental leave provision and that employees have sufficient vacation days to enable them to take leave when after a child is born.

Trouw reports that the most common response to a questionnaire on the issue sent out by the Dutch Entrepreneurs Association was, "Deciding to have a child is a personal decision. Why should employers have to pay for someone else's free personal choice?"

Hunting season is open
All of today's papers print photographs of wild boars rootling around in the undergrowth in the Veluwe national park. The photographs all have a high 'aahhh' factor and the headlines also share a common theme, namely that most of the wild boars are going to be shot.

"Christmas is coming early" headlines NRC.next while de Volkskrant goes with "busy times ahead for hunters". De Telegraaf's headline is more blunt: "5,200 wild boars to bite the bullet".
NRC.next writes that over the next two months, hunters will be culling the wild boar population in the national park, as there are far too many of them.

Experts say the Veluwe national park can support a wild boar population of around 850 but they estimate that there are between 6,000 and 12,000 boars roaming the Veluwe.

According to one ecologist, the reason for the population explosion is "a mystery".
Beam me up, Jan
AD writes that 203 Dutch nationals have applied for a job as an astronaut with the European Space Agency (ESA).

The organisation launched a recruiting drive in the spring and the 175 men and 28 women from the Netherlands will be competing against 8,228 other European hopefuls for four positions with the ESA.

It is the first time since 1992 that would-be astronauts have been given an opportunity to apply for the job. Last time round, André Kuipers was successful and became the second Dutch citizen to go into space and is the Netherlands' only astronaut at the moment.

A spokesperson for ESA said he was satisfied with the number of applicants from the Netherlands, "as a percentage, the number of Dutch applicants is proportional to the number of Dutch citizens in the EU".

Most Dutch people are green-minded
AD covers the launch of a new 'green lifestyle' magazine and reports the results of a survey investigating how environmentally aware people in the Netherlands are. The survey, printed on recycled paper in Green.2, says the Dutch are environmentally friendly... as long as it doesn't cost too much.

According to the survey, 10 percent of the Dutch population is afraid that the Netherlands will be under water in 20 years time.

Separating rubbish and buying green energy were revealed to be the most common forms of environmentally-friendly behaviour. Almost four out of five people in their Netherlands separate their rubbish and 49 percent use electricity generated from renewable sources.

A majority also said that green entrepreneurs should be granted subsidies and a whopping 71 percent said vehicles that produce high levels of pollution should be taxed accordingly.

[Radio Netherlands / Jacqueline Carver / Expatica]

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