Dutch news in brief, 2 November 2005
MPs back cannabis cultivation test
A majority of MPs in the Parliament is in favour of experimenting with regulating cannabis cultivation. This emerged during a debate about the Dutch drugs policy on Wednesday. Small government party D66 and the opposition Labour (PvdA) and the green-left Groenlinks persuaded MPs of the Liberal party (VVD), the second largest coalition party, to back the idea. Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner and Home Affairs Minister Johan Remkes oppose the move because they say it would be against the law. The PvdA intends to put forward a concrete plan before the end of the year. Earlier this year Gerd Leers, the mayor of Maastricht, led calls to legalise cannabis cultivation to remove criminals from the process. It is legal to sell cannabis in so-called coffeeshops but it is illegal to supply it.
Subsidy for diesel carbon filters
Owners of diesel cars built between 1995 and 2005 are eligible for a EUR 400 subsidy to pay for the installation of a carbon filter, junior minister Pete van Geel indicated in a letter to Parliament on Wednesday. The scheme will come into force in April 2006.
Rotterdam to ban ‘dirty’ vehicles
Rotterdam Municipality is to ban heavily polluting vehicles from certain parts of the city. Officials will also impose stricter demands on the vehicle fleets used by companies working on large construction projects. The city is further considering imposing different parking charges on ‘clean’ and more polluting vehicles.
IND office evacuated
An office of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) in Utrecht was evacuated for a short time on Wednesday morning after a suspect package was detected. An examination by a bomb disposal team (EOD) found the item was not dangerous. The evacuation took place at about 11am and the all-clear was given within an hour.
Two more ‘Angels’ freed
Two members of the Hells Angels motorbike club in the Netherlands were released from custody on Wednesday. They were among 42 members of the club arrested in a series of raids in October. Police suspect many of the ‘Angels’ use the club as a front for drug dealing and other offences. Seventeen members of the club were remanded in further custody on Wednesday. The rest have already been released.
Unlimited evening calls
National phone company KPN has announced its clients will be able to stay on the line for as long as they like in the evening for calls in the Netherlands at the cost of a fixed tariff. Cable and phone firm UPC has already a similar scheme. KPN clients will be able to avail of the new service for an extra EUR 6.75; unlimited calls can be made in the Netherlands from 7pm to 8am in the morning.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news