Ahold ‘blackmailer’ faces eight years
The public prosecutor demanded in Arnhem Appeals Court on Thursday an eight-year jail term against a 30-year-old Zwolle man accused of trying to blackmail Dutch retailer Ahold. The defendant, Jochem van Z., is accused of involvement in a plot to extort EUR 5 million from Ahold by shooting at random houses and Albert Heijn supermarket stores last year. Co-accused Edwin W., also of Zwolle, was jailed on appeal for nine years on 9 April and ordered to pay EUR 50,000 fine to Ahold. He has appealed for the case to be annulled. Van Z. offered to come to a settlement with Ahold on Wednesday, but it not known how much he has offered to pay.
Carmaker lists on stock market
Spyker Cars began the first new company to take a stock market listing in Amsterdam since 2000. The introduction price for its shares was fixed at EUR 15.50, but investors shouldn’t expect to get rich quick as the shares opened 25 cents lower. Spyker — most of which is owned by media mogul John de Mol’s investment company — hopes to raise EUR 25 million by listing on the stock market. But analysts noted that putting your money in Spyker shares would be an emotional exercise rather than a calculated business move. Spyker has not made a profit since 2000 and the prospects for the immediate future are not much better.
Minister to allow large increases in rent
Housing Minister Sybilla Dekker is in favour of allowing housing corporations to gradually increase their rents and apply unrestricted rent rises from 2008 if they build a sufficient number of new homes. The Cabinet is expected to discuss the proposal during its weekly meeting on Friday. RTL News reported Friday that the proposal indicated that rent rises will be 0.4 percent higher than the inflation-indexed rent rises in 2005, 0.8 percent plus inflation in 2006 and 1.2 percent in 2007. The limit will be removed in 2008 provided that corporations build a sufficient number of homes. Concern has been expressed in the past about the stagnating rate of house constructions, the poor flow from rental to home-owner accommodation and the rising waiting lists that primarily affect young starters and low-income earners.
Teen dies on first licenced drive
An 18-year-old woman was killed when her car slammed into a tree on Wednesday afternoon in the Brabant village of Haaren. The young woman, of Esch, was making her first trip as a licenced driver, having just picked up her permit from the local council offices. A trauma medical team could not save the woman and the fire brigade was forced to cut her body from the wreckage.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news