Expatica news

Dutch news in brief, 17 November 2004

Justice officials to get increased protection

The Dutch public prosecution department (OM) has vowed to take tougher measures against people who tried to intimidate its staff. A new study has found about 40 of its employees have been the target of physical violence or threatening letters. Some cases involve letters containing bullets. The study was ordered after prosecutor Koos Plooy had to go into hiding briefly after his life was threatened.

Low turnout in local elections

Early indications on Wednesday point to a low turnout in local elections for 11 new municipal councils in Gelderland and Overijssel provinces. Up to the early evening only 30 percent of registered voters had cast their ballot. News agency ANP was told by local officials that the turnout by the close of voting could be as low as 50 percent in some districts. Disinterest and bad weather have been cited as the reasons for the lack of enthusiasm among the voters.

Balkenende: don’t misuse faith

Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said on Wednesday that faith should not be used as an excuse for violence. He was talking to the European Parliament as the President of the European Council. ‘In our European society, people with different beliefs and convictions can live together without any problem. What is unacceptable is to misuse faith as a pretext for carrying out attacks, on people, schools, mosques and churches. All of us, throughout Europe, must vigorously oppose this.’

KPN scraps 700 jobs

Dutch telecoms firm KPN has announced it is axing another 700 jobs from its fixed-line business over the next three years. Last month, KPN said it was cutting 750 jobs from its EnterCom unit, on top of the 800 job cuts from the fixed-line division announced in January. Some 13,000 people were employed by the division at the beginning of the year.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news