Expatica news

Dutch news in brief – 19 May 2004

Endstra’s brother and sister take over empire

The brother and sister of Willem Endstra — who was shot and killed in Amsterdam on Monday — will become the new directors of the multimillionaire’s real estate empire, newspaper De Volkskrant reported. Details from the Chamber of Commerce indicate that Endstra’s brother was already closely involved in the company Convoy Contigas and a sister who worked as deputy manager already held financial authority in the family business. Police have started searching the home and office of Endstra — who was suspected or criminal links — in a bid to find clues leading to the arrest of his killers. But Endstra’s lawyer Jurjen Pen has dismissed reports indicating that Endstra was secretly in contact police prior to his death. It had previously been reported that Endstra told police attempts were being made to blackmail him and top criminal figures had threatened his life. Police are still trying to track down two men who were possibly involved in the shooting and were seen running from the scene of the crime.

New council to beef up national security

The government has created a new body, the National Security Council, consisting of the Cabinet ministers most closely concerned with fighting terrorism. The Council will meet once a month, chaired by Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende. Its other members will be the Ministers of Justice, the Interior, Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Immigration and Integration, the government.nl ezine said.

Amsterdam parking becomes more expensive

Amsterdam parking will become even more expensive following a City Council announcement that motorists will in future be forced to pay EUR 4.20 for an hour’s parking in some city areas. Amsterdam district councils will be allowed to decide where the new fee will apply, newspaper De Telegraaf reported. Besides the higher fee, the Amsterdam Executive Council — made up the mayor and aldermen and women — has also agreed to introduce an extra low tariff of EUR 0.10 per hour in some city areas. Existing tariffs are EUR 1, 1.90 and 3.20. City districts may not individually choose where the low tariff will be introduced.

Royals extend legal action over stolen video

Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima have resolved to take legal action against gossip magazine Prive, which published photos taken from the princess’ stolen digital camera, news agency nu.nl reported. The popular royal couple has already decided to take legal action against broadcaster SBS and an Argentinean website. Princess Maxima’s camera was stolen during a recent visit to Argentina and visual images of the royal couple and baby daughter Princess Amalia were later published without permission.

No surprises in Dutch Euro 2004 squad

Dutch national football coach Dick Advocaat had no surprises in store when he outlined his selection of the squad that will contest the Euro 2004 football championship in Portugal next month. Advocaat opted for the players that helped the Dutch team qualify for the championship, newspaper De Telegraaf reported. “The group does not have any surprises and is a combination of experience, youth, insight and mentality,” the coach said, adding that he was fortunate to have all his players fit for selection. The Dutch will take on Germany in its first Euro 2004 match on 15 June.

Migrant languages lose government funding

The Senate backed legislation on Tuesday ending the funding in Dutch schools of migrant languages such as Turkish and Arabic. Labour PvdA and green-left GroenLinks voted against the proposal. The first Cabinet of Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende submitted the legislative proposal, claiming that the integration of immigrant children should be focused on learning of the Dutch language, news agency Novum reported. About 70,000 students currently receive education in their “native” languages and the government aims to end the funding of such lessons from 1 August.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news