Expatica news

Dutch news in brief – 14 June 2004

Dutch keen to boost European voter turnout

During its six-month hold on the EU presidency, the Netherlands intends to organise a conference in the second half of this year designed to discuss ways to improve voter turnout for European elections. The announcement came as headlines on Monday focused on figures indicating that just 45.5 percent of the 350 million eligible voters bothered to make it to a polling booth for the European Parliament elections. Dutch European Affairs State Secretary Akzo Nicolai said he will invite his EU colleagues to the conference, which is designed to exchange experiences and lead to definite plans.

Lubbers proposes joint EU refugee centre

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers has urged the Netherlands as EU rotating President to take the initiative in reforming European asylum policies. Lubbers has proposed that an asylum seeker shelter should be constructed on the European Union border to house all refugees. The former Dutch prime minister said recognised refugees could then be separated from others without legitimate claims to asylum. Those who are rejected from the asylum proves could then be sent back to the countries of origin and the legitimate refugees should be spread across all EU member states. The Netherlands will assume the EU rotating presidency on 1 July.
Secret agent dies in Utrecht

Former secret agent Huib Lauwers — who was the central figure in one of the major espionage dramas of World War II — has died in a hospital in Utrecht at the age of 88. The Germans were able to intercept coded transmissions from British intelligence for more than two years, having obtained the code from Dutchman Huib Lauwers, a British secret agent captured in March 1942, Radio Netherlands has reported. Dozens of allied agents fell into German hands. But some historians claim that the British deliberately fed misleading information to the Germans.

Body of sunken boat’s captain found
Divers have found the body of a sailor lost when a German prawn ship sank after colliding with a Dutch fishing boat on Friday. The man’s body was found in the wheelhouse of the sunken ship at about 9am on Monday. Two of the boat’s crew members were rescued alive after the accident, while the Dutch ship was only slightly damaged.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news