Dutch news in brief – 16 June 2004
Recyclable plastic bottle set to be discarded
Environment State Secretary Pieter van Geel has reportedly made a secret agreement with the soft drink industry allowing the replacement of the 1.5lr plastic bottles — which are recycled and repeatedly re-used — with a single-use throwaway bottle. A pre-condition for the agreement is that the new bottle is not worse for the environment than the recyclable version, newspaper De Volkskrant reported. The Environment Ministry has confirmed the contract, but has refused to provide further details. It is not yet known when the recyclable bottle will disappear. Recycling Netwerk, which represents eight environment groups, has slammed the proposal, but soft drink manufacturers claim the recyclable bottle is too expensive, due mainly to the transport of empty bottles. Also, supermarkets have difficulty storing all of the empty bottles.
Gas leak concern in Venlo
A big gas leak was reported in the eastern Dutch city Venlo at about 12.30pm on Wednesday. Police and firefighters sealed the area off around the intersection of the Horsterweg and Groot Bollerweg. A large gas pipe with a pressure of 40 atmosphere is located in the region, and energy company Essent was working to discover the source of the leak. It is feared that the gas is spreading via the sewer system and all manholes have been opened. The vicinity around the leak — where many businesses are located — was not immediately evacuated, but gas pipes are being sealed off.
Jewish family requests return of stolen art
The heirs of Jewish art dealer Jacques Goudstikker have asked the Dutch government to return paintings stolen by the Germans during World War II, Radio Netherlands has reported. Goudstikker’s collection of paintings was sold to Herman Goering after his death in 1940. The collection was given to the Dutch government after the war and new regulations regarding the return of art stolen during the war have come into force, prompting the claim from Goudstikker’s family.
Krekar convicted of terrorism in Jordan
A Jordanian judge has convicted Iraqi Kurd leader Mullah Krekar in absentia of terrorism and supporting the al-Qaeda network, sentencing him to 15 years forced labour. The ruling came after Norwegian authorities reported on Tuesday that investigations into Krekar’s alleged terrorist activities had been abandoned due to a lack of evidence. Krekar was arrested in the Netherlands in September 2002 and deported in January 2003 to Norway, where he has held refugee status since 1991. He is allegedly the leader of a radical Islamist group in Iraq, Ansar al-Islam.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news