Home Dutch News Dutch news in brief, 11 October 2004

Dutch news in brief, 11 October 2004

Published on 11/10/2004

Cabinet moves to open talks with unions

The Dutch Cabinet has requested Defence State Secretary Cees van der Knaap to investigate how stalled discussions with the trade union movement can be restarted. The former official with Christian trade union confederation CNV and confidant of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende will discuss the possibilities with the nation’s unions. CNV chief Doekle Terpstra did not reject the move outright, but responded reservedly, while the FNV confederation said it would discuss on Monday whether to meet with Van der Knaap. The government and unions are at loggerheads over planned budget cuts, especially in early retirement schemes and social security.

Wounded policeman still critical

The policeman who was shot in the head on 30 September remains in a critical condition, it was reported Monday. He is being treated in the Twente Medical Spectrum (MTS) in Enschede. The 30-year-old senior officer was shot while pursuing a suspected drugs dealer, who also shot a 47-year-old brigadier. The brigadier died later in hospital. The suspect, a 45-year-old German, was arrested shortly after the two shootings.

Netherlands ‘becoming safer’

Dutch police and prosecutors are on track in improving safety, the Cabinet has asserted. “The percentage of cases solved is rising, legislation is ready for tackling frequent offenders and for streamlining criminal proceedings and extra detention space is available. Fewer crimes are being committed and people feel safer,” Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner and Interior Minister Johan Remkes said in a joint statement. The ministers issued the fourth evaluation on Friday of the “Towards a Safer Society” programme, which was launched at the end of 2002.

Frikadel loses popularity

Dutch snackbars sold 30 million fewer frikadel fast-food snacks year and are faced with declining turnover, newspaper De Telegraaf reported on Monday. Sales at take aways are declining dramatically, with the industry placing the blame on last year’s recession and current discussions about weight problems. But the frikadel (fried sausage) remains the second most popular choice behind the irreplaceable “patat” (hot chips). Ranked in terms of descending popularity are the kroket, bami and nasischijf, kaassouflé, kipkorn, hamburger, gehaktbal, mexicano and loempia.

Who is the greatest Dutch national?

The search for the greatest Dutch national of all time will be move up a gear on the Kro network on Monday night. Some 200,000 votes have been placed since the quest to find the greatest Dutch person was launched in April and the broadcaster is poised to reveal the top 100 Dutch achievers in a three-hour special. Voters were initially given a list of 200 nominees to choose from, but this will be reduced by half on Monday night. The top 10 will then “battle” out for the main prize, to be announced on 15 November. Tonight’s episode will be shown on Nederland 1 at 8.30pm.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news