Dutch news in brief, Wednesday 27 August 2008
Find out what’s the latest news in the Netherlands in the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.27 August 2008
Dutch social service department ends EUR 87m ICT project
Trouw reports that the Dutch social services department had to stop a huge ICT project which cost EUR 87 million. The hugely ambitious two-and-a-half-year project was supposed to improve the organisation's quality and lower its costs, but had been plagued by problems.
Cooperation between the department and the software supplier was difficult and in the summer of 2007, it became apparent the system would not be ready by the January 2008 deadline. Last February, the department estimated the extra costs to be at EUR 35 million.
The project came to a stop after external experts intervened and said the department was unable to manage such a large-scale and complex ICT programme.
Since last April, the Lower House has been investigating whether government organisations have a structural problem with ICT projects.
Fake cheese used on several products
AD's front page reveals the news that fake cheese is being used on several products. A consumer television programme due to be screened on Thursday has discovered that imitation cheese is being used on a large scale in everything from fresh pizzas to ready-made meals.
The fake cheese is a mixture of plant oil, starch, milk proteins and salt. There are no exact figures on how much fake cheese is used in these products, but estimates range from 25-40 percent. And the market is growing.
"It's a money matter," says a cheese merchant, "It's much cheaper than real cheese." The Dutch Consumers' Association says it's deception and wants the Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority to investigate the matter.
Bible and Qur'an
AD and Trouw report on findings by the makers of the website The Bible and the Koran that the two religious books are less misogynistic than everybody thinks.
The site was set up by the religious broadcasting station IKON and Radio Netherlands Worldwide to compare the two books.
Philosopher Marlies ter Borg and Karima Bisschop of Moslima.nl studied 13 themes in the texts, including equality between men and women, the economic position of women, love, marriage, chastity and clothing, motherhood, sex outside marriage, divorce and polygamy.
They found that nowhere in the Qur'an does it say women have to wear headscarves.
Ter Borg says, "That men are allowed to hit their wives is a mistranslation". In the Qur'an women are entitled to financial independence, two years maternity leave and alimentation. According to Ter Borg, the Bible names several strong female figures by name.
The site was launched in Dec 2007 in Dutch, Arabic and English and has had 1.2 million hits.
Man banned from walking naked in his house
There is bad news for peeping toms. According to Trouw, a naturist has been banned from wandering around in his own house naked with the curtains open.
Anxious parents in the neighbourhood had taken the 66-year-old to court after their children came home with stories about a naked man waving to them from his living room. The man doesn't know what the fuss is about, "I always drink a cup of coffee and smoke a cigarette in the nude, before I get dressed."
According to him, the neighbours have never minded. He says his house is 35 metres from the road and there are large plants in the garden. "You'd have to be a peeping tom to see me."
[Radio Netherlands / Nicola Chadwick / Expatica]