Dutch news in brief – 22 June 2004
Dutch troops unhurt in car bomb attack
Dutch troops in Iraq escaped injury on Tuesday when a car bomb exploded as two Dutch jeeps drove past, the Defence Ministry said. The attack took place at about midday (Dutch time) near Tallil, where the Dutch helicopter squadron is based. Tallil is located in the Italian patrol sector and Italian troops attached to the SFIR stabilisation force have launched an inquiry.
Gang arrested over bank cash card fraud
Amsterdam police have arrested a group of Romanians accused of specialising in fraud with bank cash cards. Twenty Romanians aged from 21 to 38 were arrested and are suspected of manipulating dozens of cash machines across the Netherlands and stealing a total of hundreds of thousands of euros, Radio Netherlands reported. The police investigation got moving when four gang members were allegedly caught red-handed on Easter Monday as they equipped a cash machine in the south of Amsterdam with an electronic card reader and camera. The gang could then copy the magnetic strip of cash cards and saw the users’ PIN codes.
Godett faces 2 years for fraud allegations
The public prosecution demanded on Monday in an appeals court in Willemstad a two-year jail term against the leader of Antillean political party FOL, Anthony Godett. It was the same as the prosecution’s demand in the trial, when Godett was sentenced to a 12-month jail term, three months of which were suspended, in December 2003. Godett is accused of taking bribes, forgery and fraud in a large scale case involving fraud in Antillean government companies. He was elected Prime Minister of the Netherlands Antilles last year, but could not take up the position due to the fraud allegations levelled against him. His sister Mirna Louisa-Godett was appointed in his place, but the coalition Cabinet later collapsed and a new coalition government was recently sworn in. The ruling will be handed on 16 July.
Cabinet stands firm on pre-pension plans
The Cabinet is proceeding with its plans to force Dutch employees after 2006 to continue working until the age of 65. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende confirmed the government’s stance on Monday after it was revealed that a large number of the members of trade union confederation FNV have voted against the Cabinet’s pre-pension plans. The Cabinet will discuss on Friday the legislative proposal forcing people to work longer, newspaper De Telegraaf reported. The FNV members rejected a joint government and employer compromise allowing workers to take fiscally attractive early retirement from the age of 62.5. The Cabinet has thus withdrawn its offer and intends to scrap fiscally attractive pre-pension schemes.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news