"Youth lagging behind is greatest problem"
Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen sees the lagging performance of some young people as one of the most serious problems facing the capital.
2 January 2008
AMSTERDAM – Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen sees the lagging performance of some young people as one of the most serious problems facing the capital.
He said this on Tuesday evening during his new year's address.
"Some of them are showing problem behaviour ranging from causing nuisance to committing crimes," the mayor said.
"These are youth who are Amsterdam residents and whom this city will need in the future."
He pointed out that the current city government is already doing its best to involve youth in society.
"At the same time we see how stubborn the problems are. We are still not succeeding in really offering them a solution."
The rift between rich and poor, which often also runs along ethnic lines, also causes Cohen serious concern.
"We are increasingly noticing a division. Even though we have invested a great deal in ending or at least diminishing segregation, studies show that the situation has not really improved over the past year."
The mayor talked more about the tensions that come with a multicultural society. In order to deal with this strain, both "strictness in setting and enforcing limits" and "consideration for each others' sensitivities" is needed.
Cohen also talked about the positive developments in the capital. He pointed out the recent construction of a number of cultural buildings, like the Muziekgebouw on the IJ and the new central location of the Amsterdam public library.
The mayor also mentioned the capital's thriving economy. "Activity in the financial sector, tourism, the port, Schiphol airport and the ICT and new media sector has increased enormously."
"Unemployment has declined, and in some areas the demand for personnel cannot be met. New businesses are setting up shop here, headquarters are moving their offices to Amsterdam."
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2008]
Subject: Dutch news